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#60299 - 02/24/06 03:49 PM For all supporters of a MS.....
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
How has the road from discovery to recovery with your husband/b.f./family member/S.O. been for you? It has only been a month for me, from me discovering his “acting out” to now, although I knew about his past abuse for some years now. What has helped you to cope? I must say, there are days when I can just walk out. And I am not saying it because my husband has resumed his sneaking around or anything, but I just get so tired at times. Sometimes I feel like I give and I give, but who is there to support me when I need it? My husband tells me that I have been very aggressive towards him lately. I don’t agree that I am aggressive, I just think that now, I speak out more than I used to. I tolerate way less than before. I guess he told his therapist/doctor about me snapping at him, and the doctor told him that I am doing it because I am afraid that he will start back doing what he was doing before. I don’t even know if that is all true. Like I said, sometimes I just feel tired. I am trying to be supportive, I want to be there for him, but it seems like he has nothing to really give right now. I feel guilty even asking anything of him since he has been through hell and back emotionally speaking.

So, what kind of trek am I dealing with here. I am afraid this type of thing will take years …………..

_________________________
Rayne

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#60300 - 02/24/06 06:04 PM Re: For all supporters of a MS.....
nochoice Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 9
Rayne,

I am a partner of a male survivor of S/O. I can sooo relate to what you're going through. My husband has had several "emotional affairs" over the years. I always suspected that it was an effect of his abuse. Finally after 10 years, he is beginning therapy.

Since I love this man dearly, I constantly feel TORN between my own anger of being betrayed by him, and the sadness, and understanding that there is an underlying cause for his behavior. He says he loves me, and I do believe him, but he has little or no skills when it comes to boundaries. I have tried to not take this personally, because I know it is an automatic response for him, but knowing that doesn't diminish the hurt it causes.

The constant need for approval, the narcissism (sic), the secret keeping, having nothing to give....this is very overwhelming, I know, I'm living it too. You're not alone. There are so few resources for male victims, and even fewer for the partners of male victims. I have begun counseling just to find out how to deal with not only HIS healing, but how to deal with MY emotions, and how I can help (or at least not hurt!) him.

I've found that it helps to gently remind my husband that I'm still mad at him (really his actions), but I love him, and will always be here for him. It has helped greatly that he has let me be angry. I try (but don't always succeed!!) to not be hateful, but just calmly (sometimes biting my tounge!!!!!) tell him how I feel and why, and always leave the discussion with the reassurance of support and love. Sounds corny, but it does help us both.

As far as how long this will take.....I don't know. I'm only at the beginning of this journey too, and I'm expecting this to take a long time, years. THEN, I think it will be a lifetime of maintenance. For me, it's worth it, because I love him so. I hope that only good comes out of this, although I am prepared for the bad. I'm scared of what may lie ahead, but have no control over it. I'm living not only day by day, but minute by minute.

I don't know if this was any help to you, I hope it was, at least knowing someone else is going through it too.

I wish you love and hopefullness in you and your husbands healing.


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#60301 - 02/25/06 01:35 AM Re: For all supporters of a MS.....
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I too am at the beginning of this mess. My b/f started therapy in October, after I found out about his cheating on me for the whole 4 years we'd been together.

Things are getting worse for him rather than better. He's horribly depressed, but isn't open to medication, for the moment. I'm watching him fall and I can't do a damn thing to stop it. He's so sad it breaks my heart. Work is fine and the social life we lead hasn't changed, but many times when we're alone, he breaks down. He's told me he feels like he's going to fall apart. I'm holding on for dear life, hoping that he'll hold on just as tight and pull himself through this really bad time.

It's not easy and may get worse for us before it gets better, but as I said above, I'm holding on for dear life and will continue to so for both of our sakes.

This is the first time I've posted anything of substance for a while and that's because I haven't felt capable. That actually tells me something 'cause lord knows I'm not usually one for keeping my opinions to myself :rolleyes: I'm not in therapy, didn't think I needed to be, but as things progress, I'm re-thinking that decision.

I'll be around, reading and learning because that's part of what makes this place so critical to my life. I hope you both stay around too. This is a healthy place.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#60302 - 02/25/06 08:10 AM Re: For all supporters of a MS.....
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
My experience is a bit different.

I did not know anything about my partner's sexual abuse until long after we'd been together.

I discovered that he had been acting out online, while cleaning out some old papers. At the time I discovered it, he had voluntarily put an end to much of it, a few years before with some relapses. My discovery led to several conversations and during this time he disclosed sexual abuse.

In retrospect I have to say that when the sexual acting out/other secret keeping stopped, in some ways the relationship got worse right after. Again, though, at the time all this was happening, I didn't know about any of it.

When he stopped acting out, it was because he was coming to realize on his own that the way he was living wasn't working for him. That's fine, but that realization doesn't automatically teach people how to live differently. He had to learn to do that-- and much of what he learned he put into practice slowly, over time.

When I confronted him about the acting out I told him that I needed some reassurance that things would change, if I was going to stay in the relationship. He answered me by pointing out the number of changes he had made since that time-- and it was a good argument. I am not talking about suddenly becoming the most well-adjusted guy on the block-- but a lot of small steps that showed he was taking control of his life in a new way.

I don't think I'd say that I was less supportive-- but I think I was less willing to compromise my own boundaries after I learned he'd been acting out. Finding those papers really opened my eyes to the kind of relationship I'd been living in, and made me realize that I didn't want to live that way either, and I didn't have to. If he hadn't been making some changes on his own in the meantime, or if I had learned about the acting out while it was happening and he was so stuck in that mode of life, I don't believe the relationship would have endured.


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#60303 - 02/25/06 04:39 PM Re: For all supporters of a MS.....
nochoice Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 9
It's so nice, (yet so sad) to know that there are others going through similar situations.

Trish, my heart goes out to you, as I know what it's like to love someone so much, and want only the best for them. It's hard to watch anyone you love be in pain. But like I said before, it doesn't make the pain YOU feel any less important. You're doing what you can, the rest is up to him.

SAR, I'm going through the same thing ( now that the secret keeping has been outed, things are somehow worse). It was as if he wanted ME to end the relationship, testing me, to see if I would leave, or hurt him. I think that since that's how they coped for so long, it's hard to try to live any differently. Like telling someone they have to drive on the wrong side of the road from now on....or tell them their religion is wrong, and must change it....it must be very frustrating.

I'm having a hard time not "mothering", and being suspicious all the time. --one of his "flings" has an 800# at her work...no way to know if it is still going on except trust..sigh---- I can't be the thought police for him, I can just hope that eventually he can do that on his own. --BOUNDARIES...gotta have them, can't enforce them on someone else!!---- That viscioius circle of wanting to make it all better ( I know I can't ), and at the same time wanting to wring his neck (again, I know I can't!). I'm not a pushover, never have been. I've never been one to be knocked down over and over, only to come back. I love him. DAMNIT! How can these two emotions co-exist in my head? It's driving me nuts. I'm hoping that my going to therapy can help me deal with this issue.

Right now there are bad days, and worse days. For both of us. For all of us.

I can see the pain, confusion, and sometimes lost look in his eyes, and it kills me. On a positive note, he is going to therapy. I know it will be a long road, most of it bumpy. I just want reassurance that there is a clearing at the end of this path. I know it's not a promise that anyone can make to me, but I feel like I need SOMETHING to hold on to.

This is a good place. Thank you all for being here. Even if just for a place to vent, but more, for a place to share, to reaffirm, to know that someone else understands, and is trying to live through it. It gives me hope.

"you can't know happiness, unless you experience sorrow"


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#60304 - 02/26/06 11:30 PM Re: For all supporters of a MS.....
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Rayne

You sound like you are being honest with yourself about how hard this is for you and how much it is affecting you.
I'd say take a lot of confidence from that. You are obviously in this with your eyes open and if you trust youre instincts and keep yourself as a priority then you'll be fine, whether that ends in a decision to stay or leave.

Its impossible to say how long this takes because every single person (male survivor and /or SO) is different but I think everyone would agree its hard.

If you decide that right now your going to stay, I urge you to get independant proffessional support for you if only as a short term measure.

Take good care of you and be strong.

Love

Tracy


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