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#56551 - 06/20/05 06:08 PM Re: Can You See It Getting Better?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Quote:
But I can SEE things getting better in our relationship! Can you see it in your relationship?
For some time *before* my boyfriend disclosed sexual abuse to me, things were improving in our relationship, and I did not see it.

He had come to realize how self-destructive, and destructive to our relationship, some of his behaviors were-- and had decided that actions speak louder than words-- so had not said anything to me about it, but started making changes.

He began taking better care of his health and hygiene, spending more time involved with people and less time in front of the TV, driving carefully, paying the bills on time-- practical stuff. Nothing changed dramatically overnight, but he was paying attention and wanting to change these behaviors for the first time in a long time.

I did not notice. I had spent too long living with him in self-destructive, negative, withdrawn mode to look for change, or to get my hopes up about much even if I had seen the changes.

I discovered he had been acting out sexually and hiding some other things from me as well. In the aftermath of this, he disclosed his sexual abuse.

According to him, his acting out and deception during our relationship had made disclosure complicated for him-- he had wanted to tell me about the SA, but didn't because he knew that would lead to my finding out about the lying and betrayal, and he was scared of that-- and he had stopped the lying and betrayal at the same time he started making the other changes, and wanted to come clean about what he'd done-- but didn't, because he was still afraid to disclose SA, and knew that there was no way to talk about one without the other.

Two big things encouraged me to stay with him-- the first was the connection, for him, between the SA and all the crap he'd done-- this made no sense to me. Why would you HAVE to tell someone about your childhood to come clean about your behavior in chat rooms? But for him they were so linked, in a way that he could not explain. It seemed so weak at the time-- like he could lie better than that, if he was lying-- so I decided that I had to entertain the possibility that he wasn't lying.

The second was that, when I expressed doubt that things could get better for us, he pointed out all the changes he'd been making on his own over the past few months, and once he pointed them out to me, I could see them. If there had not been evidence of the work he'd been doing on himself prior to these conversations, I don't think I would have stuck around.

These days I can see the improvements. They are coming faster and with more consistency. And I have apologized to him for not picking up on them sooner-- it was my woundedness that was preventing that from happening.

Jasper, I can't tell you what a turning point it was for me to have my boyfriend talk about how things were changing for him... and have things to point out, to back it up. Even just little things like "I shaved today," or "I had a lot of fun with the kids at the park." It gave me willpower to trust and support him enthusiastically. Please, please, make time to share this with your partner.

SAR


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#56553 - 06/21/05 06:33 AM Re: Can You See It Getting Better?
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Jasper,
thank you for asking such a good question. Can I see him getting better -- My god YES! YES!

and where do I start?
I hear his "real voice" not one that was busy hiding his so many years of lies
I hear in his voice a "true belief in himself"
I see him talking with other males with much more self confidence, its in his body language and voice.
He isn't lying anymore to himself or to others
He isn't acting out his sex addiction anymore (2 yrs sobriety now)
He actually is NOT afraid of losing his job anymore AND has asked for & demanded raises he was very much due.
He no longer does "side jobs" (he's a auto tech) for little money he actually asks for a FAIR price for his expertise
He WANTS to go and be involved in my social activities WITH me
He LISTENS to me and doesnt just nod his head and pretend to
he TELLS me what he worries about, what his ideas are and WHY
HE TALKS back to me if I am being bossy or stepping on his toes (we fight now!)
he tells me when I am being "overly pushy or over the tilt in my opinion"
he takes better care of himself with hygiene -- actually has bought SCENTED shave gel
He spends money MUCH more thought out - not childish expenditures - he plans big expenses
His body language is amazingly different -- he no longer walks with his shoulders hunched over as if he is trying to hide from the world
he looks PEOPLE in the EYES when he talks to them
he CARES about how his clothing is and his appearance, now he throws out those damn holey socks and underwear -- I can tell he now knows he deserves to spend his own earned money on HIS clothing and I dont have to do it for him
His dreams and fantasys are now no longer those of childish teen dreams i.e. = he always wanted to be in a "rock band", now he is aiming for a great position with FORD
His rage is no longer walking and being a surrounding aura around him to keep people away.
he will tell someone if a "joke" offends him
He has taken PRIDE in his steps to heal
He no longer "hides" his story if someone asks, he tells his story not for pity but to "EDUCATE" those who ask.
He truly pays attention to my "little" health changes
He ASKS me with sincerity how I am feeling not out of obligation
He will go to the Doctors with me not just cuz I ask, but because he WANTS to know for himself.
He is seeking BALANCE in his life now not just being over focused on any ONE thing.
He TAKES his vacation FOR vacation not a side job
The changes Jasper are endless, I could go on for hours I am sure -- and if you could spend a day or a week with us I could point out each and every tiny difference in him.
Some of his changes scare me, but it is fear that has driven me for all of my years, this I will face just as I have anything else that scares me. I will just "do it".
He's never had a problem saying the words "I love you" to me or his daughters -- but in the last 2 or 3 yrs I hear even a little more difference that he "means it" just that much more.
His smile is genuine now, his laughter is real and it is a big difference. HE has brought me hope and helped me to forgive him for all the crap we have survived. I hope that I can continue to grow as much as he has, and that he knows all along that I have never stopped loving him.
When it comes time for us to start working on our relationship as in marriage counseling -- I am scared, but I do think we have a pretty good start on surviving and coming out in the end better than ever.
It seems such an oxymoron that something so awful to happen in our lives has made us a better couple. Today I can say I think the price has been worth the pain though.
I know he has effected / affected a lot of people in positive ways in his life. He is beginning to see those positives and believe them about himself. It is so nice to see the changes in him going from someone who was so frightened of the entire world and hating himself to just having the daily courage to do as he told a gal who asked him "How do you keep going with all of this stuff" and as he said - something I have said... perhaps we came up with it together ? perhaps it was something my grandfather said to me often....
"As long as I wake up and can put two feet on the floor I have another chance to make things better."

May your days be filled with Peace, Sammy


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