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#59881 - 01/26/06 03:36 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
I am crying again, not so much because of myself, but because of your survivor stories. Thanks for sharing. I feel so much better, because I don’t feel like I am alone in this anymore. I am comforted to hear experiences from both sides – the victims and their loved ones.

Dave – it is a relief to hear that you are still married. I want to be there and help my husband, I love him so much, but now (a day later), I am having second thoughts. Images keep coming in my mind about my husband and all these other men. Last night, he wanted to make love, and I hesitated of course – it seems just so soon. But I felt like if I did not give in, he would just run off again, so I did give in. It is crazy. I don’t know what to do or think anymore. Then he asked me what do I think he is, sexually speaking. I wanted to say “gay”, but I could not come to terms with saying it. It just seems like it would make it more of a reality if I verbalized it. So, I asked him what does HE think he is, and he just said that “he did not know” that he was “confused”. I know you said that acting out has nothing to do with being gay or bi, but in the back of my mind, I keep seeing him with these men. I guess it is bad because I read his graphic posts and e-mail as to what he and these men were doing. Yesterday, I found a convenient store receipt of a soda and a condom, the day before we left before our anniversary trip. And then as I was cleaning up the room, I found a whole drawer full of them. I can’t believe that I was so clueless about this when all of the sudden, after 2 years, he wanted to start using them all the time, even though I had always been on the pill. I can’t help but feel betrayed all over again.

Dave, after receiving the help, do you still think of men? I don’t mean to pry and I don’t ask to be nosey, I just keep thinking 10 years down the road, am I still going to get scared when a handsome guy walks in the room or on the t.v./movie screen? I am just so scared that my life will never truly be the same.

My husband’s appt. is next week, and I am counting down the minutes, hours, days. I hope after he starts getting the help he needs, I will let him know about this web site, and I hope he joins. You all are a great bunch of survivors. Thanks.

_________________________
Rayne

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#59882 - 01/26/06 04:22 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Your post above shows all the mixed emotions that one would expect from you in such a situation. Relief that you are not alone and that your feelings are validated. Second thoughts, anger, sadness, betrayal. It's all totally normal and it goes to show what a big problem you are facing.

I can just come back to something John said, and that was how he and his wife are facing these things together. I don't know if that would work for you two right from the start (because you might need the opportunity to unload a lot of volatile and painful feelings at first), but perhaps it is something to aim for.

You said something in particular that got me thinking:

Quote:
Last night, he wanted to make love, and I hesitated of course – it seems just so soon. But I felt like if I did not give in, he would just run off again, so I did give in. It is crazy. I don’t know what to do or think anymore.
You had to make a decision at the spur of the moment and emotionally you were caught off-guard. But do think of your own feelings and safety here. Sex isn't something someone is "owed". It would be entirely justified if you declined sex under the present circumstances, and if he were then to proceed to seek it elsewhere, what would that say about your relationship and his attitude towards you? You have every right to demand his respect for certain basic boundaries, and he should be willing to comply just because they are THAT basic. You are not being arbitrary or difficult if you insist on this.

And please don't start beating yourself up because you didn't see this or that sign of trouble in the past. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I do hope you two can make a start to working things out.

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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#59883 - 01/26/06 04:57 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
Thanks Larry. (yes, I meant to refrence John, I don't know where I get "Dave" from). I really did feel that it was "owed" - I'm his wife and he told me that he really needs it. He said that in his mind, he just "has to have it" and any little thing turns him on. I ended up feeling so cheap and used, esp. because now he seemed to be a totally different man, not because of what I now knew about him, but because he really was acting differently. As if he was in one of his "sessions" with his hook-ups. I ended up feeling sick afterward and I wanted to cry, but I did not want him to see me crying again, so I held it in.

_________________________
Rayne

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#59884 - 01/26/06 05:23 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Please don't think I am being hard on you, because I absolutely don't mean to do that. But have a look at your post. It expresses exactly the sort of conflict that is developing.

On the one hand, his side: you are my wife, I have needs, I "just have to have it". To be honest, that is all very immature and selfish on his part. Sure he has needs and desires, so say we all. But the relationship isn't about satisfying his needs surely.

Then there is your side:

Quote:
I ended up feeling so cheap and used.... As if he was in one of his "sessions" with his hook-ups. I ended up feeling sick afterward and I wanted to cry, but I did not want him to see me crying again, so I held it in.
You have every right to feel this way and I hope you will express your feelings. I really do think that it doesn't help either party when the partner of a survivor is made to feel that her needs and feelings are just going to be trumped all the time because the survivor is in a bad spot.

There really do need to be boundaries that are respected by both sides, and both sides need to feel free to say what they feel about where the boundaries should be.

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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#59885 - 01/26/06 07:45 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
TX_Space Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Texas
Rayne,
As a soon-to-be-ex-husband with similar issues that you guys are facing, I want to say, I am sorry for what you are going through. It took me months to admit that I was sorry for what I put my wife through. But, she didn't take the time to stay around.

Like Larry and Trish say...take care of yourself. (BTW, just an aside...you have two of the BEST advisors you could ever find in those two...they're AWESOME!!!!!!!!) Your worries and concerns and fears and emotions are all so valid. Hearing them from you, helps me understand more and more of what my wife must have felt.

Now, as a man who is facing all of this on his own, I am going to ask you to stay with your husband. By all means, set your boundaries and stick to them. But, he needs you there...to know you love him and that he is worth staying for.

He doesn't know what he is sexually right now...gay, bi, straight or some unnamed combination of the the three. But, trying to pigeon-hole him and forcing him to make a decision can be very detrimental to recovery. Not to make this post about me (but I'm hoping it sheds some light)...I didn't disclose my csa to my wife until after she told me she wanted out.

She had determined that I was gay. My first two therapists leaned the questions and pushed me that way. My close friends and family members who I shared with tried to push me that way. Inside, I KNEW/KNOW what I was/am. I'm not gay. I have no desire for a relationship with a man...I love my wife with all my heart...but I seek these activities with men out of compulsion...I can't stop myself. About 4 months ago, it almost became too much...if it weren't for my two beautiful children...I wouldn't be here today.

I am working on it. I am attending sex addicts anonymous. I'm working through my issues with my csa and starting to connect the dots. So far, the picture is only about 1/16th of the way complete. I have the love and support of friends but not my wife...and it's hard.

Okay, so that was a lot about me...sorry. I'm trying to say. Please strongly consider staying with your husband as he works through his issues. His picture may not turn out like either of you can begin to imagine...but if you help him complete it...or at least support him positively while he does...it will be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. AND, you will be a part of it.

Sorry for the long post. Feel free to do with it as you will. PM me if you want...I am in Houston, too.

God Bless you and your husband.
tx_space


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#59886 - 01/26/06 09:02 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
tx_space,

Thanks so much...I sent you a PM.

_________________________
Rayne

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#59887 - 01/26/06 10:01 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Rayne
I know that I'm not gay because I don't fancy men, I never have. I don't look at any man, young, old handsome or whatever and think "I'd like to have sex with him" - even less do I think about entering into any kind of relationship with a man. And I have no fantasies or desires to be 'intimate' with another man, as in kissing or hugging. But I've had more male sexual 'partners'than female in my life so far.

My focus was always a simple one, I wanted to give other guys bj's. And that's what I did when acting out, I didn't care one bit what they were like, and I never got as far as even asking their name.

But I can't take my eyes off a pretty girl or woman. I have been 100% faithful in not having any kind of affair or even casual sex with another woman since I met my wife, and I have had offers of casual sex ( one very recently) and the almost certain chance of at least two affairs. I can resist that quite easily, although I have to say it does my ego a power of good!

Do I still have the fantasy of giving bj's? Yes - to a ( smaller and controlable ) degree, but it's not the overpowering desire that was driven by the fantasy getting out of hand and resulting in sexual addiction. I still look at
porn sometimes, but gay porn is getting less frequent and straight porn is beginning to sexually excite me. I actually get horny from the straight stuff whereas the gay porn was like some kind of ritual, or duty, that I needed to do,

When I was at my worst about 7 to 10 years ago I would fantasize at every available moment, and I would go to the lengths of avoiding other people and other distractions so I could concentrate on my fantasy. When I look back I am amazed how I could spend so much time and effort thinking about nothing else but giving bj's. The fantasies didn't even include the details of how I would meet the other man, what he looked like or anything, it was purely focused on the act. And the possible consequences NEVER appeared in the fantasy either. I knew the consequences for sure, the possibility of various STD's, the loss of family and friends if I got caught, the possibility of police involvement because I was cruising public toilets.
It could have easily led to the end of my comfortable life as I knew it.
But the fantasies had their own life in a way, I had perfected the whole scenario to the extent that my brain was producing an overload of adreniline and other chemicals that gave me a far better high than cocaine ever did, and in the end I could time all this so that if I knew I had a chance to go cruising at a particular time then I walked into that toilet out of my skull.

I would only think about the negative things after the event, or if I wasn't successful in meeting another man and I masturbated. Then the guilt and shame set in - big time. Guess what I did to cheer myself up?

It's unfair for him to ask you what sexuality you think he is, but it's also understandable because he seems to be very confused, just like I and many other guys are who act out.
But it's up to us to do the soul searching and ask ourselves "do I fancy guys more than women?"
The fact is many men are in denial and marry women as part of that denial, but you probably 'know' who he looks at when walking around the mall.

It's a difficult time for you both, but in different ways. You're both scared of how each other will react to different revelations etc, but in different ways and for different reasons. The only way through it is together, with openness and trust. But trust isn't our strong point, that was wrecked when we were abused. I thought I didn't trust my wife even after 20 - 25 years of marriage, but the reality was I didn't trust MYSELF to make my own judgements about how much I actually did trust her. That's been a steeplearning curve I promise you.

I would say that the big priorities for you now are firstly keeping your sanity and composure, you'll be no good to anyone if you crack up. And secondly figuring out just how serious he is about his healing and future. Unfortunately for us to make any kind of decent recovery we have to make huge committments and efforts, but the fact is it's worth it.

We set ourselves some boundaries and established
a level of trust, that was our first action. Then we began to talk, and I began to learn that she wasn't going to reject me for what I'd done in the past, that was gone and finished with. If I'd have acted out once more I'd be out on my ass, it was that simple. But for the first time in my life I had a set of behavioural boundaries that I wanted to keep, I'd grown up a rebel and always in some kind of trouble and mostly got away with it. This was for real though, and I respected that boundary because I KNEW the consequences. I also believed in the boundaries.

From then on nothing I said or disclosed was judged or criticised by her, not in the respect of her critisizing me directly anyway. Of course she was shocked and disgusted, but my willingness to go to therapy, learn about my problems, and make an effort to deal with them was OUR priority, so she quite possibly refrained from voicing critisism ( I'm still not sure ) and just encouraged me, and praised me for my efforts and results.
That was the way my wife worked though, and I don't presume that it would work for everyone.
Maybe it was a compromise on her part? I don't know. And some people might not be willing to do that either, that's their choice.
But for us the trade, whatever it might have been, was worth it.

Life ain't perfect, but hey - we're still together and in love!

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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#59888 - 01/26/06 11:18 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
Thanks guys. You are ALL so wonderful. Thanks Dave… your experience was very insightful. I PRAY that our situation will come out the same as yours. Your wife sounds to be very supportive. How long did it take for you to get to where you are now? From the point where you realized that you have a problem to the point of getting help to your present recovery? (I am just asking to anyone in general)

I too have refrained from “going off” and critisizing him. Yes, I wanted to just lay into him how disgusted I was in finding out, how awful I feel, and how absolutly appauling and repulsvie I felt his habits were. I still feel that way, and at some points when when he is trying to hold my hand or kiss me, I seriously want to just push him away and tell him to go kiss whatever guy he was kissing on last week. I truly want to say these things. But I don’t. First of all, I am not that type of person. Second, I know in my heart that he really has a problem. He is not trying to “cheat” on me per se. He is acting and behaving in some way dictated by his abuse. He really is hurting inside, and I know if I say and do nasty things to him, he won’t get better, but it will just push him even further into dispair and he will continue his self-abusive habits.

Were you relieved at having your wife’s boundaries? My husband showed me where he deleted his hotmail accounts, and he even just called me right now to tell me that he had to run an errand. I guess he knew if I called his office and did not answer, I would think he was on one of his little sessions. I called him yesterday during lunch while I was at home, at the time that I found out he regularly went out to his “thing”, and he answered. We went to lunch together today for the first time in a LONG time. I felt very good that so far (even though it has not been that long), that he has been respectful of my wishes. I just hope he feels the same way too, or at least one day he will.

Rayne

_________________________
Rayne

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#59889 - 01/27/06 01:59 AM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Rayne,

Some of these things are really difficult for me to talk about, but you asked a question a few posts back that I'd like to try to address. You asked of Dave
Quote:
after receiving the help, do you still think of men?
I would have to answer that question in the affirmative. Now before you get discouraged, let me explain. Before I began my recovery I probably could have been referred to as a bisexual. There were both women and men that I considered to be really HOT!

Since I've been on this path called recovery, I find that there are still guys that turn my head. The difference is that now I don't have the lust for them that I once had. Sexual thoughts don't enter into the picture anymore.

The other thing I find different is that I am not conciously looking for hot guys like I used to be. It's more of a thing where I suddenly realize I was looking. My wife will catch me at it sometimes and comment on whether she thinks he's good looking or not. It's her way of being understanding and yet letting me know she saw! I love her for it. I keep telling her that she is in less danger of losing me now than she ever has been, even though there are still guys and gals for that matter that turn my head.

I guess what I would say in relating this to your situation is that he may always have some residual effects from all of the trauma in his life.

It's sort of like the guy at the AA meeting who gets up and says "Hi, my name is John and I'm and alcoholic".

I think the AA folk have it figured out pretty well. I also think what they have can be easily and correctly applied to this situation. These things will always be with us as survivors in some form or another even though we are essentially recovered, or on the recovery path. It's not that we want to, or are in any danger of going back to the old ways. We don't want to. We want to be, and always will be faithful to our spouse, but some of the affects are still there, just as they are with the alcoholic.

I feel like I've muddied the waters here, but it's what I have to offer.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#59890 - 01/27/06 02:45 AM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

My b/f and I didn't make love for several weeks after we got back together. It didn't feel right for me because of the pictures of him with other women that I could not get out of my head. I told him that and he didn't press me. That was very important to me.

We talked a lot, about us and about him and started to re-learn about each other and connect on a level that didn't include sex. We were still very intimate with one another though. What we did as we spoke was always sit close, or lay with each other on the floor, we held hands, caressed each other's arms, legs, or face. We were almost like blind people who needed to "see" without eyes. We kissed, but nothing more. This type of closeness did arouse physical passion, but it was kept in check and not permitted to go further until I was ready.

I found that as my anger and hurt diminished, I wanted our sex life back too. I had decided that for as long as he was doing everything he could to make his and our life better, then I was not going to walk away. I had just as much of a responsibility to our relationship as he did. We had and have a great love affair and just as he had to work to save it, so did I. I haven't forgotten what happened, I never will, but I have forgiven him. I have my moments of dis-trust and fear; that's to be expected and it's perfectly normal. The blind trust I had before is gone, but it has and will continue to get better.

My point is this, if you don't want to have sex with your husband at this point, you have every right to say no. You need to tell him that. A few days, weeks or even months without it is not going to kill him. I have no doubt that when he told you he "needs" it, that it was his way of trying to maintain his hold on you because he knew you almost had one foot out the door. Explain to him that not allowing you the time to heal from what he has done is the surest way to push you out.

You need to find a common ground and work from there. Boundaries. You'll hear the word a lot here because it's very important. Those boundaries need to be respected, by both partners or things fall apart. You both have memories to deal with - his are in the far past and yours are recent, but they are both powerful and hurtful and the have ability to destroy if they are not dealt with. You are working to understand his pain; he has to work to understand yours as well, it’s the right thing to do.

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

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

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