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#56476 - 12/03/03 04:49 AM New Here, Question
davids_wifey_xoxo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 2
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
I am the wife of a survivor, I have dealt with his secretive behavior since we were dating. I adore him, he is in fact my best friend. I need some advice.
I have always found little clues. gay porn magazines, Porn on the hard drive, even, pictures of his penis scanned into our computer. All of this has led to a distrustful undercurrent in our marriage. Sometimes I feel he has used myself and our daughter as a "cover", for who he he really is. I wish I could say I trust him, I know I adore him.
About a 18 months before we started dating he had a relationship with another man. He said He felt exetremly guilty. He says he went to church and was "healed". He says he loves me. We have always been so close...(sexually, romantically....). It is all so sad. My heart breaks every time I think of him not loving me the way I love him. But even through therapy he denies being gay. I just hope it is not out of guilt,shame or something that he is hiding his true self.
I have always told him if he is gay, that I will still love him, co-parent with him...etc. BUT I cannot live with an open relationship. I will not forsake my vows and that is all that I ask from him. But I don't really trust that he hasn't already acted on his "fantasy life". I resent his taste for gay porn. But even worse I hate when he hides it. Even though I encourage him to be open with his wants....Any advice is greatly appreciated

_________________________
Charity Ann
"Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks."-Forrest Gump

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#56477 - 12/03/03 08:26 AM Re: New Here, Question
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Dearest Wifey

What your man is going through is much more than acting on fantasies.
The biggest difference between men and women in their sexual identity is that women are and that men become men. Men build their sexual identity, they learn how to become a man. The abuse shattered this construction and brought in confusion especially if the abuser was a man. The boy wonders whether he is gay and that would be sometimes the best explanation he can come up with to explain the abuse. At first the young boy never think it can be the abuser's fault unless he is old enough to understand what is going on, but still the question is there.
Also if the abuse has happened during the key years of 3-6 when the child builds his future fantasies and sex life, well it is all twisted and as you found out your man is having gay fantasies. As a survivor myself, I can tell you that until recently all the fantasies I had were about rape and violent sex. It is very difficult to have "normal" fantasies. I am getting better with that, the day I had my first normal fantasy, I celebrated, I felt so happy ! But I know that what has been shattered would never fully be recovered.
I have talked about this difficult issue with a survivor in France who survived by thinking he was gay. He had no problem having sex with guys though he was still somehow attracted to women with whom he developped sexual dysfunctions. In therapy, he discovered he wasn't gay at all ! He told me that finding he was not gay was a disaster to him. He slowly began to explore his feelings, fantasies and sex life. He even lived with a guy for one year. Now he is ready to have a full relationship with a woman, he has come back from the other side and he is still struggling with the issues of having a heterosexual life.
It is possible of course that your man looked for a safe relationship that would also be a cover up for his gay fantasies. The most important thing is to be non judgemental and be open in the talks. Your man will trully discover in therapy what he really is (gay, bi, straight) and what he really wants in his life. You will not be able to change his real sexual identity but you can help him along the way to find the light.
Wishing you the best in your journey
Love
Caro

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#56478 - 12/03/03 09:23 AM Re: New Here, Question
Pollyanna Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 211
Loc: Missouri
Wow. I've never heard THAT line of thought before. I raised 5 boys, and there were definite differences from extremely early ages between them and our daughter that were NOT leaned. I remember in a college psych class the question being thrown out whether gender was learned. Well, from SEEING it over and over again, the boys were naturally more agressive, and went for the "wheels" etc. where our daughter had much different interests, and a whole different way of thinking.

I believe we come with who we are. People along the way either support that, or attempt to destroy it, but somewhere, who we really are is IN there. The challenge is finding it.

David's wifey...maybe the PORN is the problem. Curiosity entertained creates habits and addictions. (Of course the people addicted to it don't want to admit that!) The thing I see, is he chose YOU over it before. I would like to think it's not so much denying who he "really" is, as figuring out who he was in the first place, which put you as the priority because it IS what he wanted.

Does that make any sense? If not, ignore me!

Luck and hugs to ya!

Lynn

_________________________
"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

Anne Lamott

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#56479 - 12/03/03 11:19 AM Re: New Here, Question
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Hi Dave's wife, I'm not sure if anyone knows the exact specifics of what makes a person what they are. I am sure it varies from person to person with very few hard and fast rules. However, one thing I am certain of is that the human being is capable of a wide range of sexual behaviours. I don't know whether your husband is hiding in the closet behind a wife and daughter. I do know that the psychological damage from SA can trigger some SA survivors to sometimes 'act out' sexually with other men and women in sometimes promiscuous fashion, or become overly obsessed with porno movies, magazines etc. Your husband might fall into the latter category. It sounds like you have a strong foundation in your marriage, and that you love each other. You mentioned that he is in therapy. Are you also both attending marriage counselling? You sound like a caring and open person. Dave is a lucky man. I am sure everything will work out. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#56480 - 12/03/03 11:31 AM Re: New Here, Question
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
Caro,
Quote:
The biggest difference between men and women in their sexual identity is that women are and that men become men. Men build their sexual identity, they learn how to become a man.
I suspect that some gender identity behaviours are learned by both genders. And I am absolutely certain that some behaviours that create identity come very naturally and are inbred as a result of biological differences, hormonal differences and levels etc. I say this on the strength of raising both genders and can guarantee you that my son, when he was a little 14 month old, was never taught how to toss the Royal Doulton figurines ... it just came naturally!
Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#56481 - 12/03/03 05:27 PM Re: New Here, Question
davids_wifey_xoxo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/03/03
Posts: 2
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Thank you so much for your responses. I feel strange writing about my husbands abuse because it happened to him. On the other hand we are both affected. I know he loves me. But as I said before, for me there will always be that issue of trust.
I hate the man who did this to my husband.The abuse occured when my husband was 3 to 7 years old. His mother trusted an older man to mentor him. Which makes no sense to me. I will never understand her choice, concerning that situation. But the thought of everything that happened to him is overwhelming to me sometimes so I have know idea how he gets through everyday life. Sometimes I want to hold him,wipe away the tears, and tell him It will be allright. But I can't erase what happened. He has gone thru several years of therapy. I guess that is why the porn, and the pictures make no sense to me. He says he only has these thoughts when he is stressed.
It seems the abuse is something we never talk about. But we talk about his internet addiction all the time. I really resent his behavior, it undermines our relationship. I have threatened divorce several times. I can't stand the not knowing. If he stopped logging on, I think it would be alot easier to trust him...But I feel like a parent policing a child. I'm sorry I am venting. Please forgive me. This is the first I have ever been able to express any of these feelings. Thank you for being a sounding board. \:\(

_________________________
Charity Ann
"Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks."-Forrest Gump

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#56482 - 12/03/03 06:20 PM Re: New Here, Question
Sinking Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 577
Loc: Took my ball and went home.
Davey's Wife - Good for you for doing what you can to help your husband and to sustain your marriage.
I think it is pretty widely accepted that men who were sexually abused as children often question their sexual orientation. I know I did for a long, long time.
Not only does the fact exist that I was physically aroused during some of my abuse, but it was with a man...a man I thought was my friend. So it would seem to follow that since I was aroused during sex with a male, I must be gay, right? Or at least bisexual. Throughout my pre-adolescent life, teen years, early adulthood and even thereafter, I thought I liked sex with both men and women. In fact, my wife of 19 years and I even viewed bisexual porn together.
There were also porn mags that I didn't share with her for fear of hurting her with something that I viewed as harmless and only for me. It had nothing to do with her. It probably has nothing to do with you.
As it turns out, I now think I am straight. I honestly believe that all those years, some very promiscuous years, I was the product of the sexual abuse. My formative mind was manipulated, twisted and molded into something that probably never, otherwise, would have occurred.
Believe it or not, I think your husband is actually being very honest with you. For him to admit that he only thinks about it when he is stressed might very well be true. Sex, as you know, is a very powerful thing, like drugs, alcohol or food, it can help to numb the senses or get us through difficult times. That doesn't mean it's healthy to act out this way, but it is what some of know. Reliving the past, painful and confusing as it may be, is something that abuse victims often do. It's changing those responses/reactions to something constructive that is key, it's also where I'm at right now. I don't know that I have any suggestions for you except to say to keep doing what you're doing. Try to understand how profound and complex these issues are for your husband. Maybe through your understanding he can learn more about himself and, eventually, learn how to change his behaviors. I don't know if this has been heldful or not, I hope it has. But I thought I'd add my two cents because I've been in his place, will probably find myself there again, have begun to recognize it for what it is and have begun to see that I can make changes, for the better. Good luck and keep up the good work.


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#56483 - 12/03/03 08:43 PM Re: New Here, Question
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Davids Wife
I hope you've read some of the old posts here, especially on this forum where we've discussed this problem many times ( and I don't say that to imply you're questions aren't important, they are. )

Many of us have this problem, I have been in therapy for about 5 or 6 years now, and I looked at gay porn and masturbated to it just a few days ago. It was the first time in about 3 months, so I feel good for that fact. I used to be at least once a day, and I acted out with other guys ( the last time 6 years ago )

I've been married for 29 years, and my wife knows EVERYTHING, including mondays 'gay porn' thing.
Sharing it removes the guilt for me and allows me to work on the issues that kick it off in the first place, which is far more constructive.

I know it must hurt my wife so much more than she's ever said, but it would hurt her more if I wasn't working at getting better.
I couldn't do it without her, and I know that it's so much easier for me when I don't hear her anger at what I do. I do hear her dissapointment, but never judgement.
How hard is that for her ? I will never know or fully appreciate, it's one of those selfless loving acts that people in love do. I just have to learn to live to her standard, and return that unconditional love.

Nobody told me it was easy, and it isn't. But it's worth it.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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