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#57270 - 01/06/04 07:37 PM If Love wasn't enough for him.....
April Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 10
On the good days, I feel for him. The pain of having this skeleton in his closet for 30 years and what it drove him to -- letting another man perform oral sex on him for the last 3 or our 17 year relationship.

It has been three months since I caught him and he confessed. The bad days are becoming less, however, the anger is still extreme.

On the good days, I believe he loves me. That is the only reason I stay.

On the bad days, I think he can't possibly love me. Otherwise, he would not have been able to unzipper his fly for a stranger. Otherwise, he would have not been able to come home and have sex with me and expose me to who knows what. Otherwise, he would not have been able to look me in the eye and tell me he loves me -- for three years.

Does Life really expect that I swallow all of this shit because of my love for him?

I do realize that this is all because he was a victim 30 years ago. However, that does not seem to justify his actions for me.

I only feel like a fool by staying. If love was not enough for him, why should it be enough for me.

We have not had sex since he broke the news, nor can I imagine it in the future. If I mention, separate, his first response is suicide.

I find it hard to believe there would be a day go by the rest of my life where I do not picture some stranger smoking my loving husband's pipe.

I am venting here. I apologize. It helps on these bad days to take it out on the computer.

Thanks,


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#57271 - 01/06/04 08:55 PM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hey April!

Vent all you want! Better here than elsewhere...

Having gone through this kind of dynamic in my now-defunct marriage, I DO understand just how slimy it can make you feel... UGH!

But there is one question you might ask yourself: Is your husband abusive to you in other ways? Are you excusing abusive behavior or in denial over it?

Once you have the answer, your path will become clearer. This is not to say that a decision to leave even an abusive relationship is easy - it took me about 5 sessions at a battered women's shelter (even though I was never physically abused) to recognize the pattern I was enabling - and it was STILL hard for me to leave.

If, on the other hand, you can honestly say that you feel respected & cherished in other ways by your husband, then you owe it to both of you to try to do whatever it takes to regain trust. In your own situation, you also have a guy "on the DL" who is confused about his own sexuality. There is, to my mind, a real tragedy in store for the partner of someone who doesn't yet know himself well enough to commit to a sexual identity. Until your husband embraces his identity, one way or the other or BOTH, he will never be at peace & it will make YOU nuts!! Does that make sense???

Either way, life must be extraordinarily uncomfortable for you right now. I hope you can find a sense of peace somehow.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#57272 - 01/07/04 12:07 AM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
April,

I will probably be all by myself in saying this. But are you trying to say that the only reason that you haven't left him yet is because HE loves YOU? Sometimes? Do YOU love HIM? Sometimes? If he hadn't been talking about suicide, would you have left already? Because in my opinion, on the all-time list of unhealthy ONLY reasons to stay in a relationship, two of them are 1. because if I leave he will kill himself and 2. because I think he loves me.

If you think he actually is considering suicide then he needs help. If the only reason that you're there is because you don't want him to kill himself but you don't really want to be there, then that's not going to keep him safe and you're not really in any kind of mutual relationship.

If you're staying with him because he loves you, and not because you guys love each other, then you are putting yourself in a terrible position. I know a woman who married just because she had never been loved by anyone before, not because she loved him back. She knew she didn't love him going into it, but thought she could get herself to eventually. She thought it was the best she could do, and she was afraid that no one else would love her and she'd end up alone. She spent years hating her husband for having married her in the first place. This kind of relationship has nothing to recommend it. Believe me.

I repeat if these are the ONLY reasons you're sticking around, then you should really think about whether or not you can come up with some others. If you are actually in a mutual and caring marriage with this man, but this is just what comes up when you vent, then vent, or do something, to get your anger out, because you deserve to be angry about this behavior but if you try to bury the anger inside your loving relationship it will just eat a hole in your loving relationship.

good luck
s


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#57273 - 01/07/04 02:31 AM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
April,
I gotta agree with Sar. She makes some very good points. You have a lot of harsh examination and inventory to do. Good luck to you in a difficult situation. Peace, Andrew

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#57274 - 01/07/04 10:09 AM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
trust, once violated is very hard to regain. i dont think that it can be sometimes. no one says you have to get over it. he has wronged you, and if you cannot move past it then you can't. sometimes the price of hurting someone is loosing them. sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

i lost two very good women because of my issues. it was an awsome price to pay, but i can't blame them. your husband can't blame you. you didnt make him have sex with another guy, and leave his vows in the dust. if it fails he might try to blame you, but dont let him. this is his problem. there is nothing that says you have to get over an affair.

i agree with SAR, take a deep look and decide what you need and want. this is a time in life where you need to act for yourself. not for him, not for the family, but for you.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#57275 - 01/07/04 11:21 AM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by April:
On the good days, I believe he loves me. That is the only reason I stay.

On the bad days, I think he can't possibly love me. Otherwise, he would not have been able to unzipper his fly for a stranger. Otherwise, he would have not been able to come home and have sex with me and expose me to who knows what. Otherwise, he would not have been able to look me in the eye and tell me he loves me -- for three years.

Does Life really expect that I swallow all of this shit because of my love for him?

I do realize that this is all because he was a victim 30 years ago. However, that does not seem to justify his actions for me.

I only feel like a fool by staying. If love was not enough for him, why should it be enough for me.

We have not had sex since he broke the news, nor can I imagine it in the future. If I mention, separate, his first response is suicide.

Hi April - indeed this is a really tough issue and there are people on here who have been in the same situation as your husband who have actually acted out in this way. Unfortunately it is something that survivors can engage in.. maybe some of those guys will provide some of their own insight into what was going on in their minds/lives when they were acting out in such a way.

I guess it is really really really hard but the one thing you really have to think about is the sexual acting out that a survivor does, which is exactly what your partner is doing, although the act is sexual, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with sex or love, or respect or how he feels about you as a partner or the relaitonship, etc. Sexual acting out is PURELY a reaction to the trauma - it is done for a number of reasons - either as an addiction/escape (sexaholism/alcoholism, all the same stuff), re-enact the trauma (in order to control it maybe??) or a way to create distance in the relationship because intimacy is too scary, or also possibly just as a way to re-abuse himself and make himself feel like crap since he alreayd feels that way, somehow making one feel like crap when you are an abuse survivor seems.. kind of.. well comfortable and familiar.

If I can draw a parallel with my own experiences, I am a verbal and emotional abuse surivor and I too engage in "acting out" behaviours where I try to find ways to psychologically torture myself, seek out people, almost compulsively, who verbally abuse me, in an essence under stress I too recreate the type of abuse that was inflicted on me. For some reason, the mind is affected during trauma and we as abuse survivors of all kinds wind up doing all kinds of odd and self-depricating, self damaging things to ourselves. Its what happens to our brains during trauma. And for the sexual abuse survivor, you can see that often their "acting out" involves sex while mine involves seeking out people who verbally abuse/seeking out unhealthy situations, psychological self torture, I have even resorted to self-harm (hitting/scratching/cutting myself) during or right after extreme life-stress situations.

Anyhow.. all that being said this certainly does not reduce the fear/trust factors that are in play in your relationship at this point. If you do decide to stay I suspect you may have to have some confidence that your partner is recognizing the harm that this is doing to your relationship, that he has committed he will not do this again and that he will get therapy. That is the best thing you could probbaly get from him at this time.

I totally understand if you feel trapped regarding your partner mentioning suicide - my own father operates that way. It is a really really really difficult situation you are being put in - you do have choices but they both seem pretty crappy right now - 1. to stay and suck up all kinds of hurt, scared, unsafe feelings OR 2. To leave and risk your partner hurting himself... My whole upbringing has been like that - my dad has had major issues of his own leading to him ignoring/neglecting/abusing his own kids and I know there were times my mom wanted to leave him but he has actually attempted suicide 3 times.. so I know she has said the only reason she has stayed a few times was to save his life.. it so sucks.. whaddya do? Its an awful trapped feeling I know I am there!!

If you dont have any kind of therapy for yourself through this I STRONGLY suggest that you find someone.. at least a good friend to talk to but a therapist for yourself to help you navigate through your own stuff and your own feelings as you sort this out would be really helpful. If you can find someone who has a lot of knowledge about trauma, sexual abuse, and mens/womens issues (i.e. can give you insight into what happens to men when they are sexually abused) that would be the best fit. My partner and I have such therapists/resources in my life to deal with my own trauma, and to get a better understanding of my partners trauma, and how they may be interacting/triggering each other, and we both benefit greatly from these resources. I seriuosly doubt we'd still be together without these resources.

With respect to not having sex since your partner broke the news.. for us sex has been hard lately too. My partner started intensive group therapy for SA in September which coincided with our getting engaged. We've had sex a whole four times, two of which were really awkward and difficult, since the engagement ring has been on my hand. It has been so scary to trust that things will resolve themselves.. however the SA therapists have said that the reduction/cessation of sexual activity is pretty common when issues like this are first exposed. You're not alone in that part of things.

For me the only thing that keeps me going is that my partner is committed to getting better, to working on things, that he wants to be close, to have a real family, a real relationship with me, to finally get out from under all his hiding and he is working hard at healing/therapy. Otherwise, the way things are now and the way they have been, I serously doubt that I would have stayed. Things are getting better but the past few years although like you there have been really good days, there really has been a lot of really awful, difficult stuff.

Good luck.

P


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#57276 - 01/07/04 12:40 PM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
April
In the group therapy I go to there are all kinds of guys, and we're all abuse survivors.
Some of us act out like your husband, some self harm, some are alcoholics and some have drug problems. Some of us have more that one problem.

But the thing that strikes us all now is the motivation behind our various problems is the same, we knew the abuse was. But now we sit and compare triggers v actions and see the triggers are the same, the psychological process is the same, but some of us act out, some drink.

And although all those behaviours are ones nobody wants, you'd be stretching it a bit to say that a self harmer is unfaithfull.

The actions we take are defence mechanisms, we use them to escape the crap in our minds. While I was planning, seeking and having sex with strange guys I was on a different planet. I was somewhere my earthly troubles didn't bother me any more. But it doesn't last and we come down to earth with a bang.
One that gets bigger every time we do it.

My acting out was nothing to do with me not loving my wife ( 30 years this year ) she has always been loving, sexual and more than accomodating to me. And I was difficult.
It wasn't her, it was my relationship with the memories of my abuse. I didn't know what to do with them, I couldn't make them go away, so I avoided them by acting out.

If your husband is serious about recovery and is seeking proper help - therapy preferably - then I would say "have a go, rebuild the trust"

It's not easy, I know some of what my wife went through, some I still can't comprehend.
But love is worth fighting for.

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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#57277 - 01/07/04 01:55 PM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Lloydy you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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#57278 - 01/07/04 07:23 PM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PAS
Can you imagine a four guys ( it's a small group, some have dropped out ) sitting with a woman therapist talking in the bluntest language possible about all this crap ?

Two of us acted out, and a few weeks ago we were sharing funny acting out stories and we were all sitting there helpless with laughing.

One story I told didn't happen to me, but I swear this is true as I know the guy it happened to well, another good guy Survivor.

My friend was sitting in a public toilet cubicle giving another guy a bj, but the lock on the door was broken and the door swung open when a gust of wind came through the outside door.
So without loosing concentration on what he was doing he stretched a leg out and gently kicked the door closed.
It blew open again, so he kicked it harder.

The vandals had removed the screws holding the cubicle together and the door and a side wall just fell away and crashed to the floor.

My friend said that there was guy standing at the urinal who just pissed all down his leg, and ran out the door as fast as he could.

When I asked my friend if it put him off what he was doing ? he replied, "Why would it do that ?"

That's a hell of a level of trust.
To relate a story like that to me is hard, but he tells this story to anyone who'll listen.
And it's the same in the group, we've now got to a stage where we say anything, well maybe we're still a bit shy about emotions and that kind of ( girly ;\) :rolleyes: ) stuff, but we're men, we're not supposed to do that stuff ( are we ? )

It works though, and joking aside; what I've just said is about right, we'll share anything and say anything, but the hard bit is attaching emotion to it.

But it's worth every bit of effort.

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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#57279 - 01/07/04 08:21 PM Re: If Love wasn't enough for him.....
April Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 10
Thanks all for your messages. They are very helpful.

I just read a long thread on "acting out" in survivor area. Very helpful.

Reaffirms that intention is not to hurt spouse. Although my heart still believes that real love would have never allowed such actions.

Lloyd, perhaps if men attached some emotion to their discussion (as women do), they would be better equipped to deal with this terrible childhood trauma? Just a thought.

Thansk again for your views.


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