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#449544 - 10/08/13 02:10 PM So how do we fix it?
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 336
Feeling lonely and rejected is common among women in relationships with men who have been sexually abused as children, according to Mike Lew, the Boston psychotherapist. "The female partner may feel like she is the target of his anger. That might increase her frustration," he says. In a workshop he led for partners of survivors, the women also had a lot of anger. "They were angry because of what was done to someone they love. They were angry because they had to deal with the fallout. They were angry at the lack of resources and lack of help. They were angry because this isn't what they signed on for when they got into this relationship, and they had to deal with it or leave."

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Sexually-Abused-Men-Is-Your-Husband-One-of-Them/6#ixzz2h9YMcHF8


Uh huh......ok......so how do we fix this?

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#449546 - 10/08/13 02:19 PM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Lots of therapy. That's the short answer. And a HUGE will to change on the part of the person recovering from the trauma and the trauma caused by the defense mechanisms for surviving the trauma.... Good luck! It's a long road, but it does get better. CSA may be horrific, but it doesn't have to be a curse.

And the fact that I just wrote those words should be evidence enough for anyone that victims CAN turn into survivors!

Bob

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#449547 - 10/08/13 02:20 PM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 727
Loc: NJ
Mike's couple retreat is usually in February/ March... in PA.

This year would be the third one.

His men's only retreat is in August, same place...I believe this year we'll be the 25th anniversary.
_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#449642 - 10/09/13 08:30 AM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Sugarbaby, I appologise because I'm going to say something extremely difficult. Why the heck do so many women get into relationships with survivers who don't! fix themselves anyway?

I'm sorry, but it is something that has eternally pissed me off and a reason I find topics in F&F so hard to read.

No, I am not a saint, I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I isolate, (sometimes to extremes), I am genophobic, and I have a sense of worthlessness that i'm stuck with. Equally however the idea of behaving in some of the ways which I've read about described here frankly mistifies me. cheating, lying, bieing down right selfish, and especially reliving acts of abuse on another person, I find it frankly difficult to understand.

I had my moments of disbelieving what happened to me, but for me the denial was manifest mostly in responses of my own fear not misstreatment of others other than occasionally telling my parents "please go away and leave me alone"

Yet, for all the work I have done on myself, for the five years I've been hear, I am having to face the fact that I pretty much won't ever have an intimate relationship with a woman. This is hard, but it's the truth, that part of me is just plane broken.

So, I find myself wondering if I, who finds such misstreatment of people so bizarre cannot find a relationship, why do so many women stick with such intrinsically unpleasant people and want to fix them? What is the reason?

If I reverse the question to myself, and ask why I! might stick with a partner who behaved in deeply unpleasant ways and didn't deal with her own problems, the only answer that occurs to me is that it might satisfy a desire I have to be needed, to take care of another person, both emotionally and even physically (I sort of like the idea of cooking for someone else). But this would not actually be to do with wishing to see my partner's good, it would be in part a selfish desire of mine, a validation for me. I remember when I was 22 meeting a particular girl who I'd known for several years and who was doing some work for my parents. She was stuck with an emotionally very distant partner who she stayed with simply to avoid being alone, she told me all about this and her fears, and grew extremely upset, (she finished crying all over me). it occured to me that I could invite her to see a film, (Lion Witch and the Wardrobe was just playing), could offer a relationship with her, and she'd probably go for it, indeed she said on a couple of occasions to other people, (including my parents), how much she loved me, (though she clearly meant this simply in the sense of emotional support).

I opened my mouth to make the invitation, to tell her I'd be there for her, ---- then suddenly it hit me! I wasn't doing this for her! While a kind and decent person, she was quite honestly not overly intelligent, we had very little in common, indeed I constantly felt while talking to her that I had to dumb everything down. If I offered her a relationship, it would be entirely selfish, it would be simply me needing to be needed, and that would be all that there would be.

This would be unfair to her, and likely ultimately bad for me.

I have certainly met couples like this, indeed a friend of mine who recently married has a husband who's a total hypochondriac, constantly bemoning his own medical problems while doing nothing about them and having my friend (his poor wife), run around after him, (my mum when she met them asked why such a young girl had married such an old man, even though they are the same age).

In another case, one of my best male friends, (who is genuinely incredibly compassionate), said he had to leave one girlfriend because she simply refused to let him have a life outside his feelings for her, she was so in need of companionship she occused him of disliking her if he wanted to spend time alone etc, (much as I imagine would've happened if I had! tried to start a relationship with the above mentioned girl).

Of course, not all couples are like this, and I imagine not all surviver couples are like this, but sometimes I do wonder exactly what emotions are involved, and how genuinely concerned with the other person's good, particularly because as someone who feels a distinct sense of worthlessness, i tend to be very observant in the give and take interactions of others, indeed as I said, this is a trap I have noticed myself.

As I said I appologise if this is unfair, it doubtless doesn't cover everyone, and I admit that since last night I had to sit through a friends' party composed entirely of couples discussing their future plans (and me as the one single person), I am probably not able to be as objective as I could be, but this is something I've have sometimes wondered when reading stories in f&F.

Luke.

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#449647 - 10/09/13 09:32 AM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 336
I don't want to fix him Dark. I want to fix what became of me after I found out there were three of us in my marriage. H, myself, and his sex offender (whose influence was unknown to me for many years and this if a major point of frustration at the moment).

Honestly, H is a great guy. He wigged out a bit when we got married, then things calmed down. He wigged out a bit more after our son was born, then things calmed down. Then after we had our daughter/catholic church scandal (those dates were back to back)....all hell broke loose with him and he couldn't contain it anymore.

It's a solvable problem (CSA). No one is dead ....so it's solvable.

Apparently....unless I PAY UP $$$$ for help....I can't solve my part so I guess I'm SOL on that then.

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#449670 - 10/09/13 01:50 PM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Hi Sugarbaby.

I'm sorry for the above, as i said I wasn't in the best frame of mind. It wasn't intended to imply that there is no solution, indeed that's something I probably ought to have made clear, I just sometimes wonder on the motivations of people involved. Obviously if you say your H is a great guy prior to and before anything to do with abuse, the above doesn't apply to you since it's him! you love not your chance to fix and support him, and as I said the above isn't intended to imply everyone! is like that, I just do sometimes wonder on this desire to be needed and to fix people, especially since it is something which has really caused problems for my mum and major arguements between her and me, and it is something I feel strongly myself.

As to paying to fix yourself or another person, well I can personally say just because you pay for a therapist doesn't mean they're any good. There are! good paid professionals, but the two don't go together, and anyway it's quite possible to get on without one.

Luke.

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#449715 - 10/09/13 09:55 PM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
gettingstronger Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 155
Loc: Virginia
Sugarbaby,

I totally get your frustration. You have the right to be angry at a lot of things right now. I know what's perhaps most maddening for spouses of csa men is that there's no direct way for a spouse to fix this-- he has to do basically all the heavy lifting, and all the average spouse can do is be on the sidelines and be as supportive as possible under the circumstances.

Is he in therapy? If so, has he mentioned if things are starting to come together, or if any progress is being made? My hope is that even if he's not disclosing what he and his T talk about in each session, at least he's saying whether it feels like he's taking steps forward. I went through a couple of them before I found the right one, so he needn't feel guilty if he has one but it's not the right fit. He can fire them, and they don't take it personally.

Don't feel like you're SOL. You're most definitely not. Repeat, NOT. If talking with your own T is out of the budget, there are plenty of good books out there to help spouses gain solace and work with someone in his position, and I've run into a number of good websites without really even doing much searching. Don't be shy about joining a support group, either in person or online. I know this is probably self-evident and I apologize if I sound condescending, but it's what my wife is doing. She's learning as much as she can about csa as well, and that seems to be helping her.

All I can stress is for your H to continue to work at this every day. If he can reach a point where he says "I don't want this in my life for five more minutes!" then things will pick up. I'm assuming that fixing himself (and then being able to fix his relationship with you) is his top priority, or at least I hope so.

I know lots of us here support you and all the other spouses affected by this, and I hope things get better for you both soon.
_________________________
Don't let "three steps forward and two steps back" bother you. Thirty steps forward and twenty back are still ten steps in the right direction.

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#449761 - 10/10/13 11:26 AM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 336
I get mad sometimes about the financial impacts on me when the offender walked away totally unscathed. I want to sue him civilly to pay for this stuff but H is so horrified by being that out about it that I can't.

Don't apologize Dark. These conversations are important in our secretive world here.

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#449801 - 10/10/13 08:40 PM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Well Sugarbaby I admit I've felt that impulse, though in my case it was more a desire to see the authorities, the counsel who forced me to go to that school, the school's exec staff who perpetuated the situation know what they've done and appologise for it.

Ironically the first person I ever told the full details of my story too was a solicitor I spoke to when I was 22, who claimed that "since I'd made it and was alright" there was no case, (yes he actually claimed this).

I have come to the conclusion though that really I don't know if going through the hole court business would be worth it, or really would actually fix anything as you said in the above post.

One of the difficult things I'm having to accept at the moment is that I'm just broken. I can do recovery, I can learn to live with it, but stuff like genophobia or worthlessness doesn't go away, part of me will always be that thirteen year old boy pushed up against the wall with his trousers down.

Maybe part of me will even always want to be fixed, want that intimate relationship that I can't have, but that's just like saying part of me will always want to read perfectly normal text, to pick up a newspaper from a deskt and glance at it, or see a shop sign and walk in. Hell, it'd be nice to not have to convince someone I'm the same bloody species just because I have disfunctional eyeballs.

But I can't have any of these things. It's the way itt is end of story. I can just try and learn to live with myself, and that's challenge enough without expecting the impossible.

And yes, I am aware how many times I've mentioned intimate relationships and how much I fail at this sort of acceptance, but that too is perhaps something to accept, that I always will feel this desire.

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#449804 - 10/10/13 09:34 PM Re: So how do we fix it? [Re: sugarbaby]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Don't give up Sugarbaby.

I am going to say this as discretely as possible.

You noticed me comment of 'train jumping the track' sometimes during intimacy if I have a memory. You mentioned your man doing the same thing.

It was all about visual perspective triggering a memory. It seems goofy but the view I had of the act between the wife and I, if it was the same perspective as during my CSA,it made me remember. It made me wonder why I liked that position so much. Was it because I liked the abuse? The old dreaded false guilt.

The solution? Change to a position where I see as much of my wife all the time. I never have that jumping the track when we enjoy those type of eye contact with her all the time positions. Of course not permanent eye contact, as that would be weird. But you get my drift. Focus on her and not let my mind wander.

And we make a date of it. And we explore and focus on whatever feels right. Your guy may have different issues. But keeping my mind on my woman that is wanting to please me has done so much. It helped with the hyper sexuality. No outside interests in a few years. I dare to say it but, she has wanted to be my everything for a long time. Now I let her. At night before going to sleep, every night without fail I lay beside her an hold her. It feels like the comfort and security I wanted as a kid. It calms me. I was hurt by my CSA. It did damage me but there is comfort and hope. Funny thing is she thinks I am comforting and holding her. Maybe we both get what we need.

You are very patient. All I can say is God bless you. I hope you find what you need. But don't give up.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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