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#462987 - 03/22/14 09:15 PM Partners
QuillAnh Offline


Registered: 08/23/13
Posts: 3
This is a difficult idea for me to approach. I've read many books now on how to support a survivor of sexual abuse. I have been in therapy for 7 months in order to heal me and to help support the man I love.

That said...I periodically read the family forums on this sight, and others, to affirm that I am not alone in my feelings. I'm not! But almost always, when a wife/partner expresses these feelings, the response is from a survivor explaining how and why they behave the way they do, etc.

As a partner I'm going to say, we get it! But we need to vent. We need to cry and rage and be confused and heartbroken that our husbands are hurting and or marriages and our children are suffering. In short, we need support because we are suffering too.

Personally, it just makes me feel guilty when I vent and rage and purge all these awful feelings only to be told what my husband is feeling and how it's not his fault. I know it's not his fault!! I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about that and what he is experiencing. Again, I'm sorry. But there just needs to be more help, support and resources for partners, and partners only, out there!

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#463027 - 03/23/14 01:35 PM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
You sure are welcome here and I support you! Awesome on you for trying, for soldiering on. I understand how you can feel like a support soldier with no support yourself.

We try. I try to be supportive of those like you. My wife tries hard and I support her. It is just tough.

No magic sword to slay the dragon.

So hugs to you and thank you for trying.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#463034 - 03/23/14 03:35 PM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 726
Loc: NJ
I can see both sides and I personally come here for two different reasons - the biggest is to get insight from survivors - but also to see that I am not alone as a secondary survivor of the abuse my husband suffered.

It is really hard to vent and not feel guilty. But I am going to challenge you wink That guilt is a piece of us - it actually is probably what drew us to a survivor and what drew them to us. We have insane compassion and empathy that may indeed be fueled by our innate guilt. It makes us caregivers, it defines us as supporters. Many psychologists will tell you that most couples have a shame-based partner and a guilt-based partner. Our husbands are almost ALWAYS shame-based. So what does that make us?

I have gained such great insight over the years from the survivors that wade into the F&F forum and try to provide perspective on our experiences. It is truly one of the greatest values of the forum for us. I do agree with you that there are no existing support avenues for supporters who just want to commiserate. That's why many of us end up in Al-anon or things like that, because we need to feel supported by others who walk similar paths. I, for one, am open to private messages from any spouse/SO that needs that type of interaction. Also, there was a post offering the idea of a supporter discussion group/chat that would also provide that type of forum if you are interested. It is definitely a void.

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#463069 - 03/24/14 08:24 AM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Esposa,

What a thought provoking post.

My wife is that compassionate person you speak of. She carries it into every aspect of our relationship. It is a blessing and comfort. She is indeed my harbor from the storm.

Whatever it is called, the love of such a woman is healing. This reminds me to let her know more often. It does mean a lot to her when I do praise and love her openly.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#463116 - 03/25/14 06:14 AM Re: Partners [Re: Esposa]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
Originally Posted By: Esposa
Many psychologists will tell you that most couples have a shame-based partner and a guilt-based partner. Our husbands are almost ALWAYS shame-based. So what does that make us?


Esposa, can you explain this a little further or link to further resources? I haven't heard the concept before but it resonates with me.

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#463182 - 03/26/14 01:20 AM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 263
Loc: us
I
Think you have a good point. I also come on here to vent and throw my thoughts to a group of people who get it. I think the folks on here are trying to reassure you when they give explanations about what may be driving his behavior. Or maybe they are trying to offer empathy. Personally it helps me a lot when some of the survivors respond with their own stories of similar behavior. It helps put things in perspective. But we are all different and if you don't find it helpful when you need to vent then that is understandable. You're right its not just about them its about us too. You need not feel guilty for being human and getting pissed or feeling upset.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#463364 - 03/29/14 10:04 AM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 726
Loc: NJ
Hope - I guess there is a continuum along which you will find guilt and shame. Shades of each other.

We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are.

There are many great articles about shame in survivors - like this one for example: http://www.psychsight.com/ar-shame.html

Those of us driven by guilt tend to be fixers, caretakers, over achievers. We don't want to let anyone down. We have our own internal moral compass that guides what we do. We have an inability to say no when we mean no. We become codependents. We sacrifice our needs to meet the needs of others who somehow learn to use our installed guilt buttons to manipulate us. Upside? Guilt makes us seem very empathetic and compassionate.

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#463548 - 04/01/14 08:37 PM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 375
QuillAnh - Sometimes when I really vent on here.....I don't go back and read the responses. I just get it out of my head and know I was 'heard'. Sometimes I type up long winded angry posts and never post them. smile

Don't get to crazy about what people say (although I have gotten a HUGE amount of wonderful feedback here) ,sometimes, it is enough to just get stuff out of your head, off your chest, have a good cry....and then go on with your day.

Of course, sometimes, I sit here and hit refresh hoping for feedback......... I guess I do the AA 'take what you like and leave the rest' philosophy.

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#463552 - 04/01/14 10:29 PM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 373
Loc: NY
Esposa:

Thanks for posting the link on the article about shame. This quote seems to put it well,

"Your sense of shame can be your channel of empathy and pathos to the hearts of others".

Up until a few years ago, I felt that this channel was cut off for me. I was not able to incorporate or experience shame on the level that I understand now. Consequently, I probably used to imagine that I had incorporated shame and was living a life above it, aware and empathetic to the degree I felt comfortable with.

Now that I can see and feel more, it means that I also want to accept responsibility for more. Yet accepting responsibility has to be done consciously, otherwise it might mean beating up on oneself, which is another way to act out of guilt. It has more to do with being aware of the consequences of one's actions on others, and to being open to hearing about them. Taking responsibility feels like the bridge from shame to guilt to the beginning of wholeness. As hard as it can be, it never stops feeling like the right thing to do.

This path and journey requires strength and wisdom in order to find a way to heal. I appreciate your shedding more light on it.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#463554 - 04/01/14 11:25 PM Re: Partners [Re: QuillAnh]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 726
Loc: NJ
FB - have you not just explained perfectly the methodology upon which 12 step programs are based? Fantastic wink

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