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#60014 - 02/03/06 10:28 AM New here - would love some support and advice
Hopeful wife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 14
Hi everyone...I have spent a lot of time over the past 2 days reading posts in this and other forums and feel that I have found somewhere where I will be able to get some support and advice.

My husband has made some rather shattering revelations to me in this past week regarding sexual activities that he has been involved in. He was sexually abused as a child from a very young age and I was aware of this when we married. I have always tried to be supportive of him and help him to deal with his problems. I was aware that he had had some questions regarding his sexual preferences (men/women)in the past and we discussed it at an early stage in our relationship but he has never felt that he was gay and I knew that confusion is often a result of the abuse. I told him if he was gay I would always be there for him but that he should not marry me if there was any doubt in his mind. He assured me that there was no doubt and that he had dealt with the past and was ready to move forward with his life.I often asked him if he had acted on any of his 'gay' feelings and he said 'no',that it was just more a type of 'fantasy/fetish' type thing with him being turned on by the male penis ( in porn,etc), but with no desire to have a relationship with a man.

He has just disclosed to me this week that for many years (including the time we have been married) he has been having sexual encounters with men in public toilets and at sex shops.
He did not come to me with the information, I found evidence and confronted him. I don't know if he would have ever told me of his own free will.

I feel incredibly betrayed. We had a very good and supportive marriage, a stable life, a beautiful daughter, with another on the way, and I feel so hurt that this wasn't enough to stop him from doing these things.

We have started seeing a psychologist and are trying to work things out as neither of us is ready to give up on our marriage yet but I really find I have so many questions and that there is so little information out there for someone in my position.
I feel that if his behaviour is just as a result of the abuse that he can get a lot of support from places like this and if he is gay then there are a lot of support networks for that as well but there is nothing I have found so far for someone in my position. I am incredibly sorry for what happened to him as a child but at the same time angry for the pain and hurt he is causing me now as a result of his behaviour in the recent past.

I would welcome your comments and advice.
Do you feel that he will be able to stop what he is doing and can those urges ever go away ?
How do I help him?
How do I help myself, to be able to ever trust him again.
Etc.... I could go on and on...

Thanks for reading this

Hopeful


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#60015 - 02/03/06 11:31 AM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm so glad you are willing to look for a way forward together with your husband, but at the same time I feel for your sense of hurt and betrayal. Whatever explanations there might be, the bottom line is that what he has done is terribly wrong.

You really need to hear from other partners rather than from me, a survivor, but here goes anyway. I just wanted to comment on what must look to you like incredible foolishness: your husband's willingness to risk his marriage and family and everything he has built in that area, for sexual thrills with unknown men.

Maybe it will help you to know that to a survivor this doesn't sound so strange. As boys we were building up a sense of how we could and should relate to others in the world, and part of that was establishing a sense of safe and sensitive sexual boundaries for ourselves and others. But when we were abused whatever foundations we had created by that time were wrecked and everything else was just more rubble. An abused boy learns that the world is not safe, that he is not lovable, that he is worthless except as a sex object, that shame and feelings of dirtiness define who he is, that his life is totally adrift and he is powerless against those who would harm him, and so on. We don't lose those feelings just because we become adults - we carry it all on into adulthood and this can lead to a lot of problems. For me, for example, it was alcohol and drugs to "numb out".

I am not saying this to excuse what has happened, only to suggest what lies behind this behavior.

So far as being gay is concerned, I have no idea and can only say that many survivors feel that their sexual identity has been messed up by abuse and find it difficult to sort this problem out. Certainly it is something that requires professional help, a lot of courage and honesty on the part of the survivor, and support from those close to him.

So it's a good thing that you are seeing a therapist. There might be a time where he needs to see someone on his own, so be prepared for that. He might have a lot of fear and guilt that he just can't let out in your presence.

How to help? Wow. What a question! Here you really need to hear from other partners, but I will just say that I think you first have to decide what YOU want and need. You need to establish clear boundaries and let him know that he has to respect them. His willingness to do that much, at least, is a signal that he really does want to work things out. Remember also that his adventures can have serious consequences for you. For health reasons alone - apart from all sorts of other compelling considerations - you have a right to demand that he stop what he has been doing.

As a survivor I think what I would need to hear would be that I am loved and understood and that I can be forgiven. I would need to hear my wife set out her expectations clearly - that would give me a feeling of a goal to work for. I would probably also need to hear that I am expected to take therapy seriously and do the hard work required. On trust, I would need to hear that this has been broken by me and at the moment I am NOT trusted. How this gets restored will depend on what efforts my wife sees me making to put this right. I would need to know that there are consequences when something so basic and vital has been cast aside for so little.

Mainly, I guess I would need to hear that I have a loving wonderful family, and if I want to preserve that I will have her support, but in the end it's up to me and what I am willing to do.

Hope this helps.

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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#60016 - 02/03/06 03:08 PM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
BlueBoys_Mama Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Winnipeg
I am so sorry for whats happening to you
I wish there was some way that this could all be better for you right now. Please remember to focus on taking care of your self since you indicated you are pregnant. Your daughter is going to need help here to not matter what her age kid feel the fracture in the family more than people know. Play with her and make sure she know no matter what she'll still be safe and loved.

In my first marrage after things fell apart I found a list of names in our car. I started to call people on the list and disscoverd that my former husband had been sleeping with teenaged girls as young as 15 ( which for some reason is leagal where i live) other women and some men well we were married.
at this point I no longer had feelings for my ex husband but it still hurt to know. We had a very bad relationship ( he was an abuser) I can only imagen your pain is much worse.

it's going to be hard to trust again it was hard to trust another man let alone trying to trust the same man . first and form most take care of your self your feelings. what your husband did is not a refletion on you or your family not matter how happy the marrage or family. This is a problem he's having with him self. I can tell by your post you are a very loving and supportive wife and thats what he needs. in the end its just about being there to talk and understand that he feels pain from this to.

these are just my thoughts no one has to agree
but if you ever need someone to talk to or vent to me and all the other are here
*hugz*
Mama


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#60017 - 02/03/06 05:23 PM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Hopeful
I think this is a problem that is far more common than people realise. A lot of this kind of 'activity' goes on in such secrecy, and I would bet that a very small % are actually genuine gay men.
I believe that most are like myself, and your husband, abused as boys.

It's a complex problem for us, and it does take some deep soul searching and good therapy before we realise the causes of this acting out behaviour, but we can do it.

Your position is a very difficult one as well, mainly because your trust has been shattered and you initially wonder if sticking with him is the right thing to do.
My wife stuck with me, she made that decision and I'm so glad she did because TOGETHER we have overcome my need to act out with other men.

As I said, this is complex and a good start is this very recent topic - acting out topic

Maybe this and other topics will help to answer some of the questions you have, but please feel free to keep asking your questions because everyone is different and you are important.

There's some great help here, and more experience of this acting out issue than you might expect.

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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#60018 - 02/03/06 06:23 PM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
Zipser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 351
Loc: Connecticut
Hopeful,

Roadrunner is right to mention the possible health risks to you by this behavior. I would suggest that you and your husband be checked by a physician to determine the state of your health.

Sorry to sound harsh but your husband must be told by someone who knows (the doctor) what possible health consequences could result. It's simply not fair for your husband to continue to risk your health in this way, let alone his own. You have every right to demand that he stop.

I wish you both well during this time. Hope you will continue to post as there's lots of good on this board.

Regards,

Zipser

_________________________
"I stand proud that the boy so badly damaged managed to get me this far and I will honor him and myself for being a survivor." - A member

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#60019 - 02/03/06 06:53 PM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Just a quick note on top of everything else that has been said (including by me) from a practical perspective.

You are important as a person and you will be heard, understood and supported here. It's a great community and I know there is a lot here that will help you.

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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#60020 - 02/03/06 09:04 PM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
TX_Space Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Texas
Hopeful,
I'm not sure if you've seen the post from Rayne in this Family and Friends Forum. I've attached it here. Rayne\'s Post

She is experiencing a similar situation. There is a lot of advice there from a number of very helpful and loving members. While everyone's situation is different, I think that you will find that the advice she received can be helpful in your situation as well.

Rayne and I have been "talking" for the last week. I am very familiar, like Lloydy, with your husband's behavior. I've been there. My wife didn't stick with me which has forced me to seek the help I need by myself.

Listen (read) to what the members here say to you...everyone has a valid point and perspective. But, only YOU can know what is right for you...and only your husband can know what's right for him. However, together, you guys can know what is right for your relationship. LOVE HIM...set your boundaries...take care of yourself...but don't stop loving him. \:\)

Feel free to PM me and I can fill you in much more on my background. I will tell you my story and share my insight. As I often tell Rayne, I'm not a professional, but I understand because I have (I am) living it.

Take care and God Bless you and your husband.
tx_space


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#60021 - 02/04/06 02:06 AM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I'm afraid I don't have the time I would like to properly respond to you, but I will soon. My head is a bit of a mess at the moment.

Just know that I feel your pain in so many ways. I'm glad TX posted the link to Rayne's posts. Read everthing there and know that everything said to Rayne comes your way as well.

You're a loving woman Hopeful, give some of it to yourself right now.

I'll be back.

ROCK ON......Trish

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

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#60022 - 02/04/06 03:34 PM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
Jaco Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 34
Loc: South Africa
Thank You to everyone that has taken the time to read and respond to my post. You cannot imagine how grateful I am to have your insights to refer to. I have read the earlier acting out topic (Rayne) and have found much of the information to be relevant to my situation.
My husband has also been reading the posts and has posted his own 'story' on the men survivors listing. He would also be grateful for any support he could receive, especially from those of you who have had similar experiences as he has.

We are trying so hard to make sense of things right now and find whatever answers are out there for us and remain optimistic that he can understand his behaviour and control it.

I think the most difficult thing for me is that there will never be any tangible proof that anything has changed. I genuinely had no idea at all that these things were happening and even with the benefit of hindsight there is still nothing that suddenly becomes obvious or jumps out at me where I think " Hmm now that makes sense of his behavior / moods etc..." there was genuinely no indicators to me at all, and I would consider myself fairly perceptive, especially with regard to him. I think if someone is an alcoholic etc..you know when they have stopped drinking and if they have started again. With this there is nothing ...and that is scary. I know that I will trust him again ( the way we are going right now) and I think it would totally devestate me to have that trust shattered again in the future.

I think finding this website has opened me up to forgiveness and understanding and I suppose right now I am trying to focus on that instead of my anger and betrayal.
It is a journey for both of us and is opening up past hurts and wounds on both sides.
I feel so much that I want the husband I thought I had back and I have to realise that that person never really existed and the husband I end up with will be different too...its a lot to process all the time and I thank you all for helping us on this journey.

Dave: You seem to have had a very similar experience and we would welcome as much guidance as you could give us as to how you have healed yourself and your family.

Larry,Trish ,Mama, and everyone else who replied: You all have wise words to share and I feel comforted to know that whilst you are all dealing with your own difficult issues you have so much compassion for a stranger.

Thank you
Hopeful


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#60023 - 02/05/06 12:01 AM Re: New here - would love some support and advice
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Quote:

I think the most difficult thing for me is that there will never be any tangible proof that anything has changed.
I know what you mean.

But there has been a lot of real change in my partner. Since he has started recovery, he takes better care of himself physically, he laughs more, he spends more time with healthy hobbies and friends, he manages his money better, he participates in church... he'll tell you that I've always been his best friend. But today, we are still best friends, and the friendships he has with others now are way closer than our "best friendship" was back then.

These behaviors don't PROVE fidelity anymore than having a stable life keeps someone from acting out. But they show me something about him and his mindset. He's ready and willing to make choices based on the life he wants, not on the negative messages he got from the abuse. In the end that's the only thing that will be enough to "stop" anyone from acting out-- having the knowledge and the desire to make better decisions.

You are right-- the husband, the relationship, that you thought you had, was a fiction and you can't get it back-- but if you are both willing to do some work, the husband you end up with may blow that fiction out of the water.

I am glad you two are here.
SAR


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