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#59172 - 12/12/05 04:20 PM Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi all,

My b/f and I have been together for 4 years. Weíre happy together and weíve talked about living together and eventually getting married. We broke up for a short time in October because I found he had been cheating on me, with multiple women, through the duration of our relationship. The devastation that followed was awful, for both of us. It was my discovery of this that prompted him to seek therapy for the s/a he suffered as a child. He, and we, have had quite a bumpy road since then, but weíre are committed to seeing it through.

I love this man with all of my heart. He knows that in his head, but has real difficulty in believing it in his heart. I know this is familiar to many of you. We talk about the csa and about our relationship and what itís done to him and to us. Each conversation is both enlightening and devastating. What amazes me is that for as much as he trusts me, I sometimes feel he doesnít trust me at all. He is still so afraid of me. Thatís a hard admission for me to make and an even harder one to understand.

Our friends and even total strangers comment on our closeness. Friends bust our chops for not being married already and we usually laugh and joke about it. He fakes running away, I grab him and tell him itís too late, I found him and Iím keeping him, follow by a kiss and a laugh. This happens repeatedly. This past Saturday night, while we were out, the same scenario was being played out, but this time, it seemed to upset him. When we got home, he told me he felt like I was pressuring him. I was hurt, but all I did was apologize and hold him; pressure is the last thing I want him to feel from me. We then got into conversations about the s/a. Lots there this weekend, but I donít have the right words at this moment.

I admit it, yes, I want to live together and I want to marry him. Thatís no secret and hasnít been for years. BUT, Iím on no time table. Iím not a youngster, Iím not pregnant, donít want to be, and Iím not trying to escape from anything. Iím a 42 year old woman who owns her own home, Iíve raised my daughter and Iím now putting her through college. I have a good career and make a comfortable salary. I just want to be with the man I love. Itís that simple, for me. But for him, itís the most complicated concept.

Iím upset now because I know I donít pressure him, but the light hearted banter we enjoyed before seems to now be off-limits because he perceives it as pressure. I donít know where to go with this. I will be there 110% for him, Iíll listen, Iíll cry, Iíll hold him, Iíll do anything he needs but I canít change who I am and how I respond to things. If a friend is goofing around and says enough already, itís been 4 years, I have to agree and join in the fun. The hard thing is, he does too so it seems to be OK and then I get told itís pressure! How the hell do I deal with that?!

Everything he does and most of what he says tells me that he wants the same thing I do. We are renovating parts of his home together. We sit and design what we want, we shop, we look at catalogs, he defers to me on decorating ideas and he refers to his house as OURS, with no prompting from me. Talk about mixed messages!

Iím just at a loss and more confused than even I want to admit.

ROCK ON..........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59173 - 12/12/05 04:45 PM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hey Trish,

We've been together for eight and a half years and still aren't married. I know what you mean.

We have two kids together, if someone at his job says "Your wife is here" or uses his last name with me, I don't make a big deal out of it.

The teasing banter from our friends has mostly evolved into respect. At this point we are secure enough and have enough "evidence" on our side-- I think most of our friends just want a relationship like the one we have. (does that sound really nasty? I don't mean it...)

For most of that time, I was the one not wanting to talk about marriage, but it had nothing to do with him, it had to do with my concerns about marriage and what it meant. No mixed messages but I can see how he might have taken it that way. That has changed some. We'll probably be married in another year or two.

I have to go... hang in there...

SAR


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#59174 - 12/12/05 05:20 PM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
SAR,

You're never nasty and I know what you mean. Friends, family and strangers are envious of our relationship. I love our relationship. For a while, we both had the "why fix it if it ain't broke" mentality, but now.......

You and your b/f live together; that's the difference between what you have and what I don't. It's not the piece of paper that says we're married, although I eventually want that, it's that we still very much live separate lives which is what I don't want.

*sigh* OK, now I feel whiny.

ROCK ON......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59175 - 12/13/05 09:39 AM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Trish,

Mixed messages, that's for sure! I wonder if your bf is just very insecure and unsure of his ability to cope with this next big step. It's something he wants, but finds it difficult to talk about it and face his fears. Survivors often suffer from very low confidence in themselves and find it very easy to find fault with themselves. If a survivor is still wondering if what happened to him as a boy was his fault, if he still sees the abuse as a failed relationship rather than as a crime against his person, then he is all the more likely to see all this as having very dire implications for his chances of sustaining a proper relationship as an adult. So the further the adult relationship proceeds, the closer he feels to making a mess of it.

This comes back, in a way, to the problem of everything plodding along according to the survivor's timeline and recovery issues. I think one has to take that into account, of course, but that doesn't mean that the discussion should just not occur at all. After all, you are decorating a house together! Isn't that fact already part of a "discussion"?

Only you can decide how to handle this, but I were the confused and hesitant boyfriend I think what I would need to hear would be that while you don't expect an immediate decision the question of living together is already very much "on the table". Referring to it just acknowledges that fact.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#59176 - 12/13/05 08:15 PM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Hi Trish

You dont sound whiny. We've been together 10 years, he envisages a life of us together with kids and marriage but just can't actually do it. Too many reasons to mention but none that would surprise anyone on this site.

The not living together is a hard one and I feel for you. Couples councelling??

Lots of love

Tracy


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#59177 - 12/13/05 09:16 PM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Maybe he is not newly vulnerable to the idea of committing to you, but just a little raw in general lately.

It's hard to start recognizing and processing feelings after ignoring them for so long. I never thought my boyfriend could be more defensive-- but he was, about some things, once he really started listening to his feelings-- which makes sense.

Quote:
If a friend is goofing around and says enough already, itís been 4 years, I have to agree and join in the fun.
What if this is the real problem?
Do you HAVE to join in the fun?
Maybe he wants you to say to your friends that the two of you are fine for the moment and that you aren't worried about him going anywhere.
Maybe he has been wanting this for the last two years and never let himself acknowledge it before.

Personally, if my boyfriend disagreed with me about something I thought, he could talk about it day and night in private and I wouldn't get upset-- but if another friend of ours came over and started making comments, and my boyfriend disagreed with me to our friend, the same stuff that wouldn't bother me privately would hurt me a lot. I want to know that he thinks of us as a team, and presents us that way to others.

S


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#59178 - 12/14/05 12:20 AM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Larry & Tracy,

We seem to talk about everything SURROUNDING my moving in, but not the actual fact of it. He's gone so far as to ask me when I'm moving in! My response? - when he asks me to. I know that will be a hard thing for him to do, but I can't very well just start moving in without knowing that he really wants me to. If he asked me when I'm moving in and I said in two weeks, the poor guy would probably have a stroke. He wants me there yet he doesn't want me there. I can't push him because it's not only the wrong thing to do, it's not in my nature to do. You either want me or you don't. Grrrrrrrr.

SAR - He is more defensive about some things but he's actually letting me see, sometimes, if he's bothered, saddened or pissed off at something. He never did that before; he just always said everything is OK. Just last Friday was his last day on a job that he liked, but he left it to start his own company. He's happy as a lark to be on his own, so when I asked if he was a little sad to leave XYZ company, I expected the stock, "I'm fine," answer. Instead, he actually admitted that he was a little sad. Sounds strange, but I was at first shocked and then happy that he made that admission not only to himself, but to me.

This whole feeling thing, and admitting that those feelings exist, is new to him. I'll bet he is pretty raw.

You make an excellent point and I'll take your advice to the wall. When friends start teasing, I'm usually quiet until my b/f pipes in with something, and then off I go. Next time, I'll shut the conversation down just the way you suggested and see what happens. It's a very good idea and not hard to follow because it's the truth.

You guys are the best. Thanks.

ROCK ON............Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

Top
#59179 - 12/14/05 11:01 AM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Trish,

I think SAR is zeroing in on something really important when she talks about feelings. It took me forever to reengage with my feelings, which I had shut down as a defensive mechanism a long time ago.

Allowing all those emotions to come back and flood over you is rough, especially when they involve someone you love. You feel so incompetent and fragile, among many other things.

Maybe your boyfriend really wants you to propose a date for moving in. Why not try responding with a definite date and then make that a subject you can talk about: being sure about this, etc.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#59180 - 12/14/05 07:22 PM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Larry,

I'm afraid to respond with a firm date, which would be silly anyway considering all of the things that have to be done before I move in, like selling my condo. Maybe the next time he asks when I'm moving in, I'll just respond with my own question, "when do you want me to move in?" and we'll take it from there.

Then, if he responds positively, we have to figure out how to integrate my two cats and our pit bull. Should be veerry interesting.

ROCK ON.........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

Top
#59181 - 12/15/05 05:33 PM Re: Is/Was the idea of getting married frightening?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Trish,

What I had in mind wasn't a carved in stone kind of thing, just something to convey the message that you are in favor of the idea, and to pass the ball back to him in some positive way. Saying "When do you want me to move in?" somehow sounds to me like "I dunno. What do you think?" I.e. passing the buck back to him.

How about something like this: "What would you say to mid-February? Shall we plan for that? Are you ready to make that step so soon, or do you want to hold off or think about some other date?" That is, give a specific answer but leave the door open to discussion and be ready for signals that he isn't ready. My guess is still that this is a self-confidence ("I am a fuck-up") issue.

The cats and the pit bull, do I go there? Hmmmmm. No, I better not. There are cat lovers on-site. ;\)

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
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