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#473505 - 12/13/14 10:02 PM Intimacy Issue?
wollensak Offline

Registered: 12/13/14
Posts: 4
I was partnered to a man for 10 years that obviously had intimacy issues, but at the time neither of us knew what was causing them. So for the 10 years I accepted things as they were to the best of my ability. We ended up breaking up and for the past 4 years have been on again off again. Its complicated. This past year we both had a lot of growth via his therapy and his sexual abuse issues and other trauma issues coming to light.
I have read that male survivors of sexual abuse will of course have intimacy issues and that makes sense. That some of them will find it easier to be physically intimate with someone they've met online or picked up at a bar, because there is no hope of a relationship with this person, so it takes the pressure off. Again, that makes sense.

Since my on again and off again have shared the same residence for the past 14 years, I have unfortunately been privy to his dating life in between periods of us being back together. And the thing I have noticed is that with each and every person he's been with, its never been a one night stand for him. He meets them on a hook up site, and after one date they are in a committed relationship! He'll write love letters professing a deep love for them, after one meeting (which typically involves physical intimacy) or one online conversation. He'll go on about how wonderful they are, how intelligent, how good looking, how safe he feels with them, how they understand him and how he's never felt this way before and on and on. Which too me implies intimacy!?? Of course these relationships never last more than a few days, weeks or at most a couple of months.

He will go out of his way to be there for them emotionally and physically. Which has been painful for me to watch, as every time we are back together he is unable to do those things for me. Which has left me of course angry and confused at times (especially because when he is in need of something he comes too me).

Is this normal behavior for someone who has been sexually abused as a child? Have any other spouses or ex-spouses (he broke up with me again today but things could change tomorrow) gone through something similar as far as intimacy is concerned? It makes my head spin to be honest...

Edited by wollensak (12/13/14 10:06 PM)

#473576 - 12/15/14 11:09 AM Re: Intimacy Issue? [Re: wollensak]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 377
I've always found that H find new people to be kind of .....what I call "shiny and new". He gets all excited and puts to much faith and trust in shallower relationships than I feel he should. Or, I should say, than I feel is normal to do.

Often it leads to him feeling disappointed. I don't know the answer as to why this happens but I can understand your post.

#473662 - 12/16/14 11:51 PM Re: Intimacy Issue? [Re: wollensak]
wollensak Offline

Registered: 12/13/14
Posts: 4
Thank you so much for validating me sugarbaby! I was thinking some more about this and yes I totally agree with the "shiny and new" aspect. I'm going through this with him again and its dealt a big blow to all the relationship progress we had been having since midsummer. The current "healthy" friendship he's been having has crossed the point of appropriateness. But I'm the villian for attempting to discuss it. Which ends up triggering me and I fall back into bad behaviors. I realized today, that the only human physical contact I get is when I go visit a friend of mine. And as I'm leaving he'll give me a hug.

Rarely tells me he loves me. And touching him most days is completely off limits. And usually when I do try and hug him, I will ask his permission first as I don't want to trigger him or cross a boundary with him. But he will delve out hugs and "I love you's" to this current friend of his (he insists its platonic) and he stays at her house sometimes. She calls every day, sometimes 5 or more times. And I'm constantly being told that I'm the one with the problem. It's a knife in my heart. As I get told that he can't be this way with me because its not safe to do this with me and it is with her. I'm sorry if my venting is upsetting anyone. I'm just at the end of my rope at the moment. I'm physically and mentally exhausted.

Edited by wollensak (12/16/14 11:52 PM)

#473767 - Yesterday at 09:21 AM Re: Intimacy Issue? [Re: wollensak]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 377
Just vent!! Don't apologize! Vent away!!

A wise man on Male Survivor once told he: "It looks like you stepped on a CSA landmine again. KEEP TALKING!" - I'm paraphrasing but his words were very helpful because I had vented and it annoyed quite a few people.

You won't get to a better place keeping this to yourself IMHO.

I know that in times of stress H pulls away. I'm assuming that is a coping mechanism. If no one touches him he's OK - my guess is that that is what he's thinking.

It doesn't sound like your the one with the problem if you question his friend calling 5 times a day. That sounds, to me, like he doesn't grasp his role as a husband. I don't mean that in a negative way. If he's like H his friends are shiny and new. They don't know all the bad stuff. They didn't go through the aftermath with him. That makes them pristine and something of a breath of new life.

If you can, ask him if there is something you do that reminds him of the abuse. I did a few things unknowingly that reminded H of his abuser. It was all minor things but I was horrified to find that out.

#473780 - Yesterday at 03:30 PM Re: Intimacy Issue? [Re: sugarbaby]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3536
Loc: O Kanada
so true, sugarbaby.


i was a first aid responder for a few years,
and we were trained to keep the victim talking.
this maintained a safer level of consciousness.
keep the patient communicating.
"talk about the pain.
tell me where it hurts.
squeeze my hand.
i am here to help you. "

i have been on the bad side of these situations also.
i have been rescued. lifeguards have saved me. medics have mended me.
i have been carried in crisis and emergency.
i will never forget the voices and faces of these angels of mercy,
but i never knew their names,
and never saw them again.

they mattered.
they made me feel like i mattered.

love is real.
it has power to heal.



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