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#57988 - 10/05/05 04:23 PM commitment and sexual identty issues
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
FROM READING OTHER MESSAGES I THINK PARTS OF THIS MAY BE TRIGGERING.

Hello

Any words of wisdom?

I am in a long term relationship (to all intents and purposes a marriage) with a male suvivor of CSA. He was abused by a man in his 20's when he was about 10 years old.

I have recently found out that since he was 17 years old and throughout the most of our relationship my partner has been having secret anonomous sex with men in public places. He disclosed the CSA at the same time as I found out about the unfaithfulness.

Initially he told me he thought he mustt be gay,why else would he want sex with men, although this didn't make sense to him as he has always been attracted to women and has always fantasised about having a life with women although he has once or twice wondered what it would be like to have a relationship with a man.

Just after the disclosure to me he went to a gay support org where he told his story, this being a massive relief to do so. The worker there "diagnosed" him as being gay and invited him to join group support discussions etc.. He says he just didn't want this but this left him hugely confused.


He was abused outdoors in woodland and recounts that it felt very furtive. The perp acted very furtively, always looking round to see if anyone was around.

In his teens my partner started to masturbate compulsivly, sometimes with female porn, and was always drawn to doing this outdoors although he didn't know why. In his late teens he came into contact with other men doing the same thing and thus a life of anonomous sex with men in public places began.

He has previously gone for up to 3 years with no sex at all, he was always very shy around women and his first proper relationship with a women started when he was 21, he says it felt safe because she was religious and wouldn't have sex until well into the relationship, but he was hugely pleased to be in a heterosexual relationship and it felt very right.

Through therapy (both couples and for him individual) he has come to the conclusion that he has been "acting out" his CSA and instantses of it happening almost always cooincided with feelings of stress / anxiety. EG; Moving house being made redundant, me being ill etc.. On the odd occassions he did it when not particularly stressed he said it absolutly revolted him.

over the years he had a few "opportnunities" to lead a gay lifestyle but the minute it went beyond the specific sex act, ie; someone wanting a relationship, cooking a meal etc.. he didn't want it. He once went to a gay club but the thought of sitting chatting at a bar didn't appeal at all, he just wanted the sex act.

Just after the disclosure to me he went to a gay support org where he told his story, this being a massive relief to do so. The worker there "diagnosed" him as being gay and invited him to join group support discussions etc.. He says he just didn't want this but this left him hugely confused.
We split up for a while, only seeing each other at couples therapy,and have very recently moved back into our house together.

So I find myself in a very strange situation. He says he wants our relationship very much and tells me I'll never understand how hard he has fought to keep me in his life, ie; having to live with the guilt and shame of the lies and deceit, it would have been much easier for him to leave. He also says that staying in the relationship now and facing up to and resolving the hurt, anguish and shame etc.. is by far the hardest option but one he is prepared to take because its want he truly wants.

A huge part of me wants so much to believe this and I'm fairly sure I can forgive him for the betrayal but I can't help feeling that in a world where being gay is still so hard for people, prejudice etc..is he actually takng the easy option by staying in a heterosexual relationship and am I fooling myself believeing that his sexuality really does allow him to be truly happy with a heterosexual lifestyle.

He is changing so much with the therapy, his confidence, calmness and assertiveness are hugely on the increase, and I wonder if when he is really healed will he then and only then "allow" himself to be gay. This could take years and then I'd have stuck around hoping for marriage and kids with a man for whom this isn't his true desire.

I'm realy quite confused and I guess there are no real answers are there? I've read all the messages on the confused sexuality postings and so much of what people say rings so true for our situation but I havn't founnd anything about the long term and what the likeyhod is of my chap deciding he's gay after all and needing to leave our relationship. I don't wnat a life of denial for either of us.

It feels disloyal to doubt him but I need to be sure about this for both of us.

Any similar experiences or words of wisdon graefuly received.

Thanks

Tracy


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#57989 - 10/06/05 01:42 AM Re: commitment and sexual identty issues
Savannah Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 13
I definitely have a similar experience, though my husband had only one "situation" with a man. In the past year we've been dealing with problems in our marriage as well as his confusion. In the beginning he was certain taht he wanted to be with me but couldn't understand what the male experience meant. After lots of trouble with me (ultimatums and fights), he has accepted the possibility that he is gay.

I find it hard to believe that in the 13 years we've been together I wouldn't have seen this coming.


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#57990 - 10/06/05 04:49 AM Re: commitment and sexual identty issues
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hi Tracy,

I understand your feeling that you are willing to put the past behind you as long as there is some guarantee that things will be better in the future.

Ask yourself how you would feel about staying in this relationship for the rest of your life if your partner never progressed in his therapy or grew as a person past today. Is the man he is today, the man you want to have a life with? Why or why not? What would have to happen for you to feel differently?

I say all this because underneath the questions of gay/straight/confused, I hear you asking some basic questions about trust and YOUR healing. I hear you saying that you don't want to be with him if that's not what will make him happy, and if the relationship doesn't have some honest foundation. There is more to those issues than his sexuality.

My partner did not ever act out with other men, he acted out online with women, but I had the same questions underneath it all.

What I had to understand was that my partner's experience was a re-creation of some abusive elements which played themselves out sexually-- but that all of this happened at a far remove from the sexual self that he was in our long-term relationship. It's not like he was the same guy with me and that guy just went acting out. The acting out was coming from a sick place that someone else left behind in his mind. Elements of his SA came into our sex life, sure, but still the sex that we had was never about the same things that the acting out was.

I've seen the emails and stuff from this time in his life. I KNOW that guy is not my guy. I don't wish that experience of discovery on anyone but I almost think that if you could have seen something of who that guy having sex in public places was-- you'd know in a minute whether or not it's not your guy.

SAR


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#57991 - 10/06/05 11:32 AM Re: commitment and sexual identty issues
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Many thanks to both of you for replying,
Savannah, I'm sorry you went through that hearache for it end badly. would you be prepared to discuss your situation in more detail. I'd be happy to do this by PM if you felt happier doing that. I totally understand if not.

Sar
What you say makes sense to me because his behaviour does feel "otherwordly" to me and I have strong feelings of wanting to visit those places with him to try and sort of complete the picture, (I'm asked him how he would feel about this and he says he would would feel very shameful so I've backed off from this).

I definatly want to be with him now and, if my health hadn't been at risk, prior to his beginning to heal. Even though he is healing and it feels like he is emerging in a sense, its still him underneath and I strongly identify with people who say that CSA is something a person goes through but it doesn't make that person who he is. He still looks, feels and acts the same its just as though someone has shone a light on him and all his best bits have become a bit brighter and his unattractive bits, which I was prepared to live with but didn't enjoy, are receding. He's happier and it shows.

I feel as if my only frame of reference (other than a few posts on this site and my partners therapist, 2nd hand) for men who live outwardly heterosexual lives but have sex with men is that of gay men in denial. My best friend is a happy to be gay man but spent what he refers to as "years in the wilderness" trying to fit in and be heterosexual. I also know that this is a common situation for many men.

Also I can't help feeling that I don't doubt he loves me and feels very loved by me and feels secure in our relationship. I would reject our relationship if he tells me he is actually gay rather than straight so maybe that is a barrier for him being open at this stage in his healing. Is this relationship a bit of a safety net until he feels strong enough to be himself??

I also feel quite sure that what my partner was doing was attempting to recreate his abusive situation. He says he always "felt" abused by the men he had sex with. However it makes sense to me that if he were gay he would also have tried to recreate the abusive situation. That sort of sex would be very different from a loving relationship with a man where making love would be part of that.

As I write this I'm trying to pin down why I think he could be gay and have spent years recreating his abusive situation.??? I don't know whether its because of my socially ingrained frame of reference, I strongly support gay rights and feel sure that as society becomes less homophobic more people are and will feel empowered to live they life they really want and the openly gay community will increase, my partner faling into this frame.
Or, is it that my own unwillingness/inability to live a trully happy life is preventing me wholly believing what he is saying to me and lookng for something to be "wrong" that will ultimatly lead to him rejecting me. (My own fear of rejection coming into play perhaps)
Or, is it some parts of behaviour, eg; acting quite excited about a particular new male friend, that are revealing a gay part of him. He has issues with fear of rejection and we've talked about this and its evident that he has been like this with overtly friendly men who have persued a friendship with either him or both of us, (I have found the same people false, eager to please on the face of it and unappealing). He says for someone to demonstrate very strongly they would like to be his friend is very enticing for him because he's always had feelings of being unlikeable/unloveable and has craved male approval. Its also very evident to me that he has, in the past, kept at arms length male friends who really love him. He's starting to put that right now as he is tackling his fear of intimacy.

On many levels I do and want to believe him. I've moved back in with him , but I need to get to the bottom of this otherwise it, along with other trust issues threaten to get in the way of any happy future together. I trusted him very much prior to this and would have probably laughed at someone who told me the truth about his behaviour. It was and is such a huge shock to find this out and its made me question my judgement an awful lot.

Thanks again both of you for taking the time to reply.

Kind regards

Tracy


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#57992 - 10/16/05 06:30 PM Re: commitment and sexual identty issues
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Tracy, I meant to do this last week, this is a post I wrote over the summer about my own fears of rejection, it might be food for thought in your situation.
http://malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=001051


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#57993 - 10/17/05 03:52 PM Re: commitment and sexual identty issues
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Sar

Thankyou for that link. This particular bit makes a lot of sense to me.

"On the other hand, now that my friend has finally felt safe enough to express his anger at me, I feel oddly relieved!"

My partner won't really accept that I have acted in ways that have been hurtful and sometimes cruel. I would be very relieved if he could do this because it would be a denial to say everything has always been rosy beteween us, we have been cruel to each other along the way intentionally or not.

There has also been an awful lot of love and much that is hugely positive but I wish we could have those really honest discussions and that he could get angry with me.

He admits to being frightened of women in general, he was very scared of his mother when growing up and she is indeed a scary woman. Maybe this has something to do with it, also theres the old fear of rejection to keep things tricky!!

I'm going to try to bring some of this stuff up in our couples councelling, we both feel safe there.

I feel torn because how do I balance showing him I believe in him with keeping honesty at the forefront of the way we communicate with each other?? :-(

He is changing a lot and I think so far I've been able to truly honour those changes, largely around being more assertive, even when they've been a disapointment to me, eg; ditching some mutual friends that he now doesn't want in his life. No family xmas etc...
I really do want him whole and confident and that feels good.

I can't as yet link the fear of his being gay with all of this.
I know I fear the rejection if he decided he were gay and I think I'm arriving at a place where I think there are enough signs to warrant me having some natural doubts. However...

CSA by a man, a critical and absent father who derided him for being a sissy/mummies boy etc.. etc.. and a controlling, emotionless, overbearing to the point of suffocation mother is very very hard and has left him feeling demasculinated (spellng?) fearful and isolated. Its a hard one to extrapolate what could be signs of being gay from an awful legacy that he is bravly facing up to.

For that reason I'm just so gratful for this site and being able to post my doubts and fear here and not add to his troubles.

He has, just last night, read Mike Lews chapters on perps largely being heterosexual, the whole thing having nothing to do with sex or sexual orientation that it is, was and will always be ABUSE. This realistion has literally floored him and he sat in a daze for AGES!!!

I have a feeling that some anger was welling up last night because in some way he has previously minimised what happened to him as being a sad story of a handicapped gay man who had no other options for sex.

It feels like one more tiny step along the way!! Also a councellor got back to me and I'm going to take up some support very soon.

Thanks again Sar for thinking of me. It means a lot.

Tracy


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