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#59891 - 01/27/06 02:08 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
riviera Offline
Member

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Spain
Hi Rayne,

My boyf and I had gone through a lot since he decided to recover. Just like most couples in here...

I totally agree with Dave about the fact that having mutual commitment to communicate, listen and express each other in a safe and trustful environment (non judgmental in both ways) is key to keep the relationship going. There are many things that will unstable your situation as the healing progresses but if there is mutual commitment and understanding your relationship will eventually even get richer and better than before any of this started...
It is a long and painful process but if you both stick together through the storms (always respecting and believing in each other) the rewards will be better than nothing else ever in your life... but commitment is needed ...both ways

This is our experience.
H


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#59892 - 01/27/06 05:37 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
John
far from muddying the waters, you raise a very good point about the comparison between sex addicts and alcoholics.
The 12 step programes seem to be very effective for both as well.
A lot of people misunderstand sex addiction, certainly in the media. When someone famous admits they are sex addicts all we see is lurid headlines and smart-ass quips. So people think that sex addiction is a constant line up of supermodels begging for sex!
It couldn't be further from the truth though, it's more like filling every available second of the day, every day, with sexual obsessive thoughts. Often at the expense of other thoughts. The sex is more likely to be masturbation as well, often many times a day. It doesn't matter one bit if we are married to sexy and willing partners either, because I think that the obsessive thoughts have absolutely nothing to do with 'real sex' as in a relationship. I certainly didn't obsess about that because I knew it was there and available when I wanted it. That is also consensual sex, and in a relationship it should be equal and without one person being in control, but we're looking for sex WITH an element of power and control, we want to regain what we lost as kids.
I firmly believe that's why so many survivors act out.


Quote:
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.
What Trish say's is, to me, the essence of a loving relationship.
How close did I come to losing that? Very close, and for me it was the biggest wake up call I'll ever have.
And I'm always full of admiration for women like yourselves who make the decision to work with us and not throw us out the door on our ass.
If anyone had asked me when I was acting out what my wife's reaction would be if she found out I would have said "Hell, I'm a dead man!"
It's still hard to appreciate that our relationship was that strong because I was seriously f****d up at that point and we weren't getting along very good.

Riviera has reinforced the point that we HAVE to communicate, there is no other alternative.
For us that's difficult, how can we sit with our wife and talk about having quick sex with unknown men? I have never done anything harder in my life, and I hope I never will.
We fell into a routine of talking, and it suited us so we carried on with it.
Back in 1998 when I started therapy it was on a Wednesday night early on, so she would pick me up and we'd go to a pub for our evening meal.
I found that I could talk when we'd finished the meal, as long as there wasn't anyone sat right alongside me. So that's what we did - we talked.
I also don't like talking about MY abuse in our home, I just don't want that crap in here, but I can sit here and do this. Strange? maybe....
This routine moved on to a Friday night at an Indian restraunt, we're off there shortly \:D ,
I just like the idea of removing 'my crap' from our space. It has some other advantages as well, we're far less likely to throw our toys outta the pram in public for a start, and there are actually less distractions. People aren't knocking at the door and the phone isn't ringing.
It is a strange way of communicating for sure, but it works for us because it has become an established routine, which I think is a very positive thing. If you choose to go for a routine, and it certainly hasn't got to be cast in stone, then of course it can be done at home, but distractions must be avoided. I certainly like the chance to frame my sentences and gather my thoughts, and sitting in a quiet booth in the Indian somehow allows me to do this. I must admit that I'm also very relaxed after a good curry and too much wine as well :rolleyes:

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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#59893 - 01/27/06 06:11 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
Trish, it is great to know that you know what I am going through. I think “guilty” is the word I feel when I try to say “no” to my husband regarding sex. I want to run away, but I end of feeling so bad for rejecting him. I tried to say “no” again last night, and he said that he just wanted to show me that he still found me desireable and he loved me. But when I said “that’s OK”, or in other words “no” again, he asked me if I would manually do “you know what” to him. That is when a red flag went up in my head. It really had nothing to do with me at that point. Or maybe he truly was thinknig of me, but when I showed I did not want it, he reverted back to him. I am still having a time dealing with that. It is as if in an instance, he could separate the love from the sex. But I do think that is what I will do. I think I need time to heal too… esp. even if I do have sex with him, it is an act. I don’t want to get any pleasure of it. I did it because he wanted it and not because I wanted to.

Dave, you said something interesting…

If anyone had asked me when I was acting out what my wife's reaction would be if she found out I would have said "Hell, I'm a dead man!"

I read in one of his e-mails to a guy where he said that if his wife found out, that I would just “go crazy or be mad as hell” or something to that nature. He was very shocked that I did not. I was hurt, I cried, but I did not rant and rave.

I do like what you said about going to another location to talk about these things. I agree that the home should feel like the “haven”, a protection, where all the other ugly stuff can’t get in. After my husband starts his treatment, I definintely want to do something similar.

Thanks Rivera, I love your comment:

It is a long and painful process but if you both stick together through the storms (always respecting and believing in each other) the rewards will be better than nothing else ever in your life... but commitment is needed ...both ways


Simply and beautifully stated.

Thanks all…

_________________________
Rayne

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#59894 - 01/27/06 06:58 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,

I usually go on and on when I post on the DB, but here I will keep it brief because I really think you need to think about this:

No one "owes" sex to anyone else. Not under ANY circumstances.

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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#59895 - 01/27/06 07:40 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
Larry, you are right. Thank you very much. \:\)

_________________________
Rayne

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#59896 - 01/28/06 12:44 AM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Rayne
Maybe he's 'confusing' sex with love at this time?

For most partnerships sex and love are synonomous, but maybe now he's feeling huge amounts of guilt and shame and needs to show you that he's truly sorry and still loves you.
And 'sex' is a way of showing that, it might not be the most appropriate way at this time but possibly it's the only he feels able to express himeself?
Is acting out about sex or expressing ourselves, however badly and dysfunctionally?

findin a 'neutral' taling ground was good for me, and we talked again tonight in a way I just cant do at home.
Wherever or whenever it is I guess what I'm stressing is that it's us ( the survivor ) that has the hard talking to do ( you have the hard listening and replying ) so maybe the comfort zone does need to be in our favour?
Maybe partners need a reciprocal deal? Perhaps I should ask. :rolleyes:

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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#59897 - 01/28/06 02:33 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,

I think men in general have a much easier time than women in separating love and sex. For survivors it's even more difficult. They were never a part of the learning curve when it was being developed so now, as adults, they have a hard time or may even be totally clueless. I'm dealing with this with my b/f. He believes that sex is sex and love is love. Trying to explain to him that they are not mutually exclusive is very difficult, but he's trying to learn.

Dave nailed it

Quote:
For most partnerships sex and love are synonomous, but maybe now he's feeling huge amounts of guilt and shame and needs to show you that he's truly sorry and still loves you.
And 'sex' is a way of showing that, it might not be the most appropriate way at this time but possibly it's the only he feels able to express himeself?
My b/f was also s/a by a family member, his mother actually and your husband by a brother. Family is supposed to love you. Unfortunately, our partners learned that "love" equals sex and abuse. It's no wonder that they are wrecks when it comes to knowing how to love in a world outside of what they learned. Our world is a scary place because everything they've learned to expect is not what they find, yet they are always looking for it - bad things that is.

In our partner's cases, it took a long time to do the damage and it's going to take a long time to undo it.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#59898 - 01/28/06 04:38 AM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I apologize for not welcoming you earlier but I wanted to have time to read everything first, and I'm glad I did.

My partner acted out online, never in person. Like you I found evidence of what he'd done and confronted him with *most* of it. At the time I discovered it, he had put a stop to the behaviors on his own long before-- just kept the "souvenirs"-- a lot like the convenience store receipt you mention.

A survivor acting out is coming from a very self-centered place-- I don't mean "selfish" exactly-- but when Dave says that a lot of the explanations for acting out read like excuses for getting off at the expense of loved ones, it's because the acting out is ALL about the survivor and what's going on in his mind... and what's going on in his mind leaves little room for the rest of the world.

My partner was like this most of the time while he was acting out. He was generally withdrawn, careless, and inconsiderate. Instead of expressing what he needed from me in ways that respected my boundaries and choices, he would say manipulative, entitled stuff that sounds a lot like what your husband is saying about "just wanting to show you he loves you". This behavior makes sense to me in retrospect. I think that the only time he DID consider my feelings was after the fact-- as Dave says, in reference to sexual acting out:
Quote:
I would only think about the negative things after the event...Then the guilt and shame set in - big time. Guess what I did to cheer myself up?
The negativity and repressed emotions, and the acting out behaviors, feed off of each other-- they're two sides of the coin.

I'm going on a bit long about this because it was important for me to recognize as a partner, that the bad habits and the inconsiderate, manipulative stuff that crossed my boundaries-- were acting out just as much as the sexual chat. That meant that 1. They had nothing to do with me, and 2. I was not doing him any favors by turning a blind eye.

I see you trying hard to be supportive and give your husband what he is asking for right now. But I hope you know-- even if you do get angry at your husband-- even if you don't feel like you can have sex with him right now-- YOU CAN'T CONTROL his acting out. And if he does it again, it will not be because of you, or your fault, whether you've been nasty and angry or a total doormat, or anything in between.

All you can control is your own behavior and your reactions to him.

In my case, like with Dave's, my partner knew I was serious when I said that I would not stay in a relationship with him unless some things changed-- and both of us were willing and able to make those changes. Some of them, at first glance, don't have much to do with sexual acting out-- but they do-- and they are all important.

SAR


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#59899 - 01/28/06 10:40 AM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
i don't think his abuse is an excuse for letting you down and putting you in mortal danger ,he should admit he screwed up ,and decide what he wants from life ,i understand maybe he can't help it but with the danger of aids he is playing russian roulett with your life ,are you gonna get tested for the next ten years just because he acted out?sorry but i think anybody who has someone to support them as you have done for him should thank their lucky stars ,and thank god that at least one person didn't run from his abuse ,i think it is a shame that any of this happened to you .

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#59900 - 01/28/06 11:15 PM Re: (LONG) The tears won't dry - possible triggers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
SAR used the word "selfish" - which is a word I have often used here at MS because recovery is a selfish experience from the survivors point of view. It's "all about me".

I don't use the word to describe the kind of selfish behaviours that completly ignore the partners feelings or cause deliberate hurt, I use 'selfish' to describe the sharp focus that we seem to need to recover.
It will almost certainly result in us hurting and frustrating our partners, but I think it's a result of us turning in on ourselves for a period of time at the expense of others. We don't set out to hurt, but we will without a doubt do it unthinkingly. We very often seem to become introverted and self focused.

That's bad news for any partner who's pulling out ALL the stops to help us. I know for a fact that I got the kind of love and support, understanding and patience, that I could not possibly pay back at the time. I honestly wonder how my wife coped with me a few years back when I was in therapy because I became someone who would be silent for very long periods then open up all at once - after I'd 'got my head together'. I still do this a bit.

The fact is, once we disclose and start on our recoveries we become different people to the ones we were before, the genie is out of the bottle and it's NEVER going to go back in.
We, as in 'you and us', then have a choice. We stagnate or move on.

Here's to moving on !

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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