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#60024 - 02/05/06 12:48 AM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Jaco ( Hopeful ? )
Last night my wife and I were talking about the bad old days Before Therapy - BT - when I was acting out, and about the way she dealt with the discovery of my behaviours etc. And she opened up a lot more about it than she has done before.

The circumstances of her discovering my acting out were different to yours in a way. I didn't disclose my CSA to her, or anyone else, for about 25 years after it stopped. Then I started therapy, and it was during this time that she saw on our computer something that she thought I'd downloaded and was written by another survivor ( or something like that ) It was only as she continued reading that it slowly dawned on her that I'd written it, and forgoton to delete it. By then the secret was out, she knew exactly what I'd done barely 12 months previously. What I'd written was a part of my journal, and possibly the most detailed thing I've ever written.

To this day she is still amazed that I could have hidden my acting out so convincingly, but I grew up in a world of secrecy and lies, I accepted that way of life because there was no alternative for me while at boarding school, and I had 5 years to learn it well.
Learn it I did though, and I used those skills as I acted out and for all the previous years when I kept silent about my abuse.

But now she realises that I have those skills ( they haven't gone away ! ) she has developed a new level of radar that see's lies and bullshit before I open my mouth!
That's because I came clean at the time she read my journal and didn't try to lie my out of it.
The thought crossed my mind believe me, but by then the therapy was changeing my behaviours and outlooks by the simple fact of 'being honest to myself' in therapy was producing positive changes that I wanted and needed. So I chose truth, and in return I got love and support, a damn good deal in my book!

That trust has since increased many times over, because it was a two way thing.
I have exactly the same opportunities to act out that I did before, and I have been propositioned a couple of times when I've used public toilets as well. I walked away, politely refusing their offers and wondering if they were in the same boat I was in a few years ago, they probably were.
Does she ever question me about my behaviours or express her concerns that I might be still acting out? Not to me she doesn't, and she wouldn't tell me if I asked anyway. But I honestly believe that it isn't a concern to her anymore because she has learned to trust me again, and I've earned that trust. We both also know the cosequences of any further acting out - I become homeless!
We both also know that I couldn't act my way through it anymore, not like I did in the past when I could act out on the way home and 5 minutes later walk through the door as though nothing had happened.

So "tangible proof" of change is quite possibly an unrealistic thing to want.
Why ? because who we were before is not the 'real' man you want back. And because it takes a while to get past the 'act' we are very capable of putting on.
I put on a show for my wife for 25 years, I was the average husband that gave little cause for complaint. But underneath I was a mess, and had been since I was 11yo and the abuse started.

Some of the act I put on was pure macho crap that I used to bolster myself up with as well, but a big part of my act was to act stupid and let my wife do all the work, not the everyday stuff like washing dishes but the important stuff like looking after the money and booking holidays, anything that required a bit of organising.
My act was a complex one that had a huge impact on our lives, not solely limited to abused related thing in a direct way that we would ( now with hindsight ) expect.

The man you really want back is the one you thought you fell in love with, and he's going to be there somewhere.
But be prepared for change, because as I've dumped all 'my crap' I've learned a whole pile of new things, like self respect and esteem. So when she pisses me off now I tell her about it! I don't just accept it and internalise it like I used to do. It's just like a real marriage now. \:D

I know that I've changed dramatically in the last 4 or 5 years, and people who haven't seen me in that time have commented on the change when they do meet me.
But my wife said last night that the 'Dave' she fell in love with is still there in some way or another, the basic building blocks are still in place, with all their faults :rolleyes: , but the inner Dave has done a complete U turn, for the better - or so she says! ;\)

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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#60025 - 02/08/06 11:09 PM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Jaco

I was in exactly (minus the kids) the same situation as yourself 8 / 9 months ago, finding out my partner had been having anonomous sex with men in toilets and woods throughout our ten year relationship. I could never never have imagined myself having to deal with something like this BUT I have, he has, we have and we are still together and very much in love having hit the bottom, climbed back out of the pit and are now still climbing but the progress is sure and steady.

How did we do this? Let me be clear there's been tears, heartache, screaming and shouting, seperation, avoidance, anger and sooo much hurt but we did/are doing this:


We lived apart

He got a therapist specialisng in Male CSA and sexuality issues

I got a therapist and am confronting my own issues

He fought his demons that made him doubt his sexuality. Visits to a gay support group were part of this as was his T

We moved back together

We both admit we need to change/heal. We both let go of our denial.

We found an excelent couples councellor who worked for us and are about to start seeing a psychosexual therapist with specialism in CSA.

With his "secret" exposed enough of the guilt and shame was released to end his COMPULSION to act out. (Apparantly this can happen but the experience is different for every man)

This is a snap shot. The details inbetween include a LOT of hard work, a lot of effort to understand and a belief in our love for each other. I'm happy to share more about my feelings at the time if that would be helpful, but I honestly think the above were/are our vital ingredients. without which we would have/will fail.

You are in crisis at the moment. You need to find your own ingredients.

I urge you to get help for you and I believe that women in our situation need someone who will let us talk about our Significant others. I quickly ditched a councellor who wouldn't let me talk about my partner and his acting out and my efforts to understand. She said "This is about you not about him".. I wasn't listening. I couldn't listen.. In order to move from first base I needed to understand why.

I can't tell you how much the men and women on this site have helped me to understand and allowed me to get to a position where I could say OK, we can have a future but we both need to heal.

Get some support for you and your kids. My heart is with you. Its an awful situation to be in. Two things stood out for me in the above posts that I would agree with wholeheartedly.

1. You do have a right to demand he stops doing this.

2. This is not unusual. I think youre poor husband is treading a well worn path.

Much love to you at this very dificult time.

Tracy


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