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#60539 - 03/08/06 07:56 PM My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
I hate that I'm here. I have been married for just over 13 years. My husband and I are currently separated and have been for a month. He had a rather sordid childhood even without the sexual abuse (which I did not know about until very recently and which I will come back to). His father was murdered when he was 9 years old by his mother's boyfriend. After that, he had a couple of stepfathers who physically abused his gravely alcoholic mother. This stuff I did know about.

I don't know whether the abuse came before or after his father's death or both. I don't guess it's important. But, he was sexually abused by an uncle.

He is 40 and is coming clean for the first time ever because 6 months ago he was about to fall apart...severe depression, anxiety, etc. He went to see a therapist. The first session was with us together and I'm thinking we're going for marriage counseling, but in the session, he said that it wasn't about "us" that he needed to see the therapist on his own. Fine.

Every 6 months or so for the past couple of years, he would come home one day or wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me that he just wasn't happy. In August, he did this again for the 4th or 5th time and I told him if he did it again that he had better mean it because I could not live like that any longer and we would separate.

So, the end of January, he tells me again that he is unhappy and in addition, that he was sexually abused by a man as a child and that he was questioning his sexual identity. We immediately separated, not because of the sexual identity thing but because I can't live with him telling me one more time how unhappy he is with me! We have an idyllic life or so I thought. We do not fight. We have never had financial problems because we both work hard. I can't say enough how fortunate we are and until now I couldn't imagine what he had to be unhappy about.

We had a wonderful sex life until probably 5 years ago. I don't know what happened but something did. He always said it was me but now I wonder.

He spent a lot of time convincing me that if I did this or that it would make him happy. I always tried to make it better but nothing seemed to work.

I'm angry with him. I feel guilty because I have left him at a time when he probably needs me most. But, I feel like I have to protect myself and he says he doesn't want to "bring me down" with him. I feel like if I try to help him through this that "we" may not be okay on the other side anyway and that I will be more destroyed than I am now.

I feel like our entire marriage has been a lie. I've spent 13 years trying to make up to him what others have taken from him. I'm all used up.

There was a time when nothing could beat us but now that isn't so. I don't feel loved by him. I need for someone to tell me that I don't have to feel guilty about not wanting to deal with this with him.


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#60540 - 03/08/06 08:44 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

The heart of your post comes at the end I think:

Quote:
I need for someone to tell me that I don't have to feel guilty about not wanting to deal with this with him.
Okay, short answer: "You don't have to feel guilty about not wanting to deal with this with him." But I'm willing to bet that this doesn't help you, and I say that because I don't think this is the question you need to have answered.

This is your first post, so I don't have a lot to go on. By that I mean I am guessing a lot and just winging it really. But never mind. Please bear with me through the following lines.

My guess is that you are in a situation where no matter WHAT you say or think, no matter HOW important a priority or need you have or express, it is constantly trumped by the fact that he is a survivor of sexual abuse as a boy. You are in a lose/lose situation. No wonder you want out.

But on the other hand you refer to so many other aspects of the relationship that have really been fulfilling, even - can I put it this way? - wonderful. So what's up?

It may of course be that you have reached the end of your tether, in which case, absolutely, you DO have the right to put an end to the relationship. But I suspect that what you are doing is expressing a lot of anger and frustration at the totally unequal field that you find yourself on so far as your relationship is concerned. And with good reason.

Have you considered the possibility of actually saying what YOU need and demand in order for the relationship to continue? Many survivors, including myself until maybe a year ago, are simply spinning their wheels in their abuse issues so deeply that they just don't SEE what all this is doing to their partners. Guys like me NEED to hear these messages:

1. I love you and support you. I believe what you have told me and I understand it's very difficult for you.

2. I am a victim too. You need to consider my needs and feelings as well as your own. You are not the only one who needs to heal.

3. I know that you will be gutted lots of times and won't find it easy to keep up your half of the relationship. But I need to see that you are TRYING and that you recognize that this is a problem.

4. I need for you to understand that there is no longer a relationship when the problems of one partner totally hijack the needs of the other.

5. I know it isn't easy to recover from childhood abuse. YOU need to know that it isn't easy to be the partner of a survivor. Both of us need to see that the other one is trying.

6. Talk to me. If I am really your partner, try to trust me as your partner. I don't expect instant results, but I do expect an effort - a REAL effort.

7. The fact that you are a survivor of abuse doesn't make your need for recovery more important than my need for happiness.

I hope this gives you a perspective and something to think about, without suggesting that the survivor's needs overrule those of their partners.

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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#60541 - 03/08/06 10:04 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
I'm not sure that the relationship is salvageable no matter what. He has made it clear repeatedly that he is not happy. I told him in August that he would only get one more opportunity to express that which he did. Now I feel that I have to follow through. My perception is that what we had is "as good as it gets" but because he doesn't feel the same way, the only way I know to protect myself is to move on. I'm not afraid of that because I am very independent, motivated and have a little self worth left.

Right now, I am trying to sort out the craziness in my head. This is the ultimate betrayal. I feel so badly that all of those ugly things happened to him. But, I have been the only "safe" thing he has ever known. You would think that he would have wanted to protect me. This may sound selfish but I think he's being selfish.


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#60542 - 03/09/06 03:31 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
whoami,

It is incredibly difficult to support someone in the beginning stages of acknowledging and healing from sexual abuse. You may have seen another recent thread on this forum where some people were talking about how the relationship seemed to take a turn for the worse right in the beginning. It sounds like that's where you are now.

The survivor needs to be able to hear, and believe, that the person who's sticking by him and supporting him can be with him no matter what. If you don't feel like you can/want to do that, maybe the kindest thing for both of you is to be honest about that and end the relationship now.

That being said, after 13 years, to end a marriage because your husband expressed how he was feeling, seems a bit drastic. Would you rather he be unhappy and not say anything about it? I'm not asking that judgmentally. I'm just wondering what you expect him to do in this situation. Would you want him to be unhappy and not tell you about it for the rest of his life? Is there a way he can express his feelings without upsetting you?

As you say yourself, there's no way you can fill the hole in him that was created by the abuse and trauma in his childhood. It's not because of you that he's unhappy-- it's unfair of him to have blamed you for it for so long. But if it was impossible for those things to make him happy and unfair of him to convince you to do them in the first place, then does it make sense that he would be happy now, because you did them?

Whatever you decide to do, this is a good place to get information and support for yourself as you deal with the way that your partner's abuse has affected your life.

SAR


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#60543 - 03/09/06 04:57 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
Derdlecar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1314
Loc: Ogden Utah, USA
whoami,

Help me understand. You don't want to reconcile with your husband. Yet on the other hand, you come here to a forum met for male survivors and their families/friends. I may be wrong, but I think I am getting mixed messages. The fact that you came here tells me that you are not quite ready to throw in the towel. What you say in your post tells me that you are very, very near to doing just that.

Only you can decide. Either way, be completely honest with yourself and with your husband. Either way, you have support here.

Love ya

Darrel

_________________________
If a man would get his life on track, he must first go back to the place where it was derailed.

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#60544 - 03/09/06 08:25 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

In your two posts you refer repeatedly to how good you thought your marriage was, but that all this has been called into question because your husband has said several times that he is unhappy and blames this on you. You refer to these statements as the ultimate betrayal and feel that having warned him about saying he is unhappy one more time, you need to follow through and leave him.

Could I suggest that the situation really does seem to be more complex than that? Perhaps you hint at the real problem in your second post, where you refer to still having "a little self worth left". That is, this issue of his unhappiness has drastically affected your own self-esteem.

Have you two talked about his unhappiness in detail? Or does he just declare this and that's the end of the matter? You would of course have every right to say that while you regret what happened to him, there is no reason for him to blame his situation on you. Frankly, and I don't say this by way of blaming either side, if you two can't discuss major problems together then I would have to say things look rather bleak for you.

Have you considered joint counselling or therapy at all? This might be worth considering before giving up on a relationship of 13 years.

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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#60545 - 03/09/06 08:28 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I too was struck by what appeared to me to be really mixed messages from you. This is not meant to be a critical statement, but rather a statement of what I am hearing. What I'm hearing may not be at all what you are saying.

One thing I would like to say from a sexual abuse survivors viewpoint is that your husband probably has NO REAL IDEA what he wants at this point. He's probably very much in a place where he is confused, depressed, angry, emotional, etc. I know, I've been there. Like me, he probably needs to see a mental health professional who specializes in male child sexual abuse issues. This is not going to be a process that will take a few visits over a month or two and he will be cured. It'll take a LOT of work on his part and a determined willingness to stay engauged in the process.

It meant all the world to me that my wife was also willing to stay enguaged in the process, to go to counseling with me at times, and reassure me that she indeed loved me.

Many of us survivors here have had the same issues as your husband including sexual identity issues. He's not alone.

So where do you stand in all of this? Only you can decide for sure. Only you know the story because you are the one living it. I would not presume to give you advise to break it off or to stay. I just wanted to try to share with you just a little of what a survivor is going through. Please know that you have support here regardless of what you do. I sure understand that it can be just plain too much to take.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
ďLifeís journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ĎHoly ____Ö! What a ride!íĒ ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#60546 - 03/09/06 03:10 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
I suppose that what I am trying to do is come to grips with the fact that I never really knew who my husband was. Because I care about him, I would like to understand what it is that he is going through and that is what brings me here.

When he would express his unhappiness with me/in our marriage, I must say that I did tend to sweep it under the rug thinking that he was just going through some mid-life something. So, we have not communicated well.

I think it is obvious that I am very confused. I truly believe that he wants out since he has said so over and over again and wants to deal with this on his own. What I want is not to feel guilt (which is self-imposed - he's not doing anything to make me feel this way) over not wanting to deal with this with him. I want to run as fast and as far away as I can.

I do appreciate everyone's candid replies. They are helpful and I think they are making me search a little deeper within myself for some answers.


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#60547 - 03/09/06 03:11 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
oh, i can only imagine what it was like. i have been telling my wife that we need to work on our sex life for years, and in the past few, that has changed to how unhappy i was. along the way, i made up my mind we werent right, and i had an affair. i have almost completely destroyed everything i loved, and i dont really understand why myself. i'm betting he doesnt fully understand it either. there is just like this big hole right in the middle of your soul, and nothing seems to fill it. in the confusion and despair that causes, you do stupid, desperate things. you do the therapy, and you try to figure it out, but it seems to get worse at first. as you work to accept yourself, and figure things out, it seems like the ones you love most suffer for it. i am sorry you suffered for it, and i am sorry my wife suffered for it.

fortunately, i think we're going to make it. i'm sure it wasnt fun hearing i was bi, and all the other garbage, but somehow we have held up. in january, my wife broke down crying during a night that wasnt going too good. i was having performance problems, and it was just another thing that told her she wasnt enough for me. God, that just tore my heart out. i knew i had made her feel that way. i knew she was a wonderful woman, and i had just about destroyed her. reading your story, i see so much of where we are this very minute, and i see what is coming if i dont do something.

i wanted to share, and i hope it helps some. i love my wife with all my heart. i want so badly to be happy, but i too have said many times that i wasnt. the thing was, i kept thinking it was sex, but it wasnt. i was trying to fill a hole in me and didnt know how. when your life has been sexualized, you tend to express everything in sexual terms. your pain and unhappiness feels sexual, but it isnt. i'll bet anything it isnt for your husband either. he just hasnt figured it out yet. the problem isnt you or the world, it is him. it is him stumbling in the dark, thinking this or that would make him happy. he will find that it doesnt. then he will look back, and realize everything he ever needed was right in front of him.

i am happy. i have moments i still struggle now, but i am finally happy as a whole. i know where your husband is at. i was there, and everything about life is just unhappy and depressed. unfortunetly for him, he used you up before her learned the truth, and learned how to finally escape. i am sad for you guys. i am sad because someone's love dying is a sad thing. i can only thank God, that i found the way out before it was too late, or i hope i have. i believe i have.

thanks for your post. it is another reminder of my wife's side of this stuff.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#60548 - 03/10/06 08:13 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
confused wife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 10
I just wanted to say that I feel for you. I am in a very similar situation right now. My first post is a little ways down and starts out with, "I've been with him a long time..." Anyway, I also noticed some of the people above stated something about mixed messages. The reason for this is because we have mixed thoughts and feelings don't we? On one hand we love them and want and long for the person we married. They were hurt so it is not all thier fault right? On the other hand, it hurts too much to be mistreated by them. The fact is they do need to be accountable for the way they treat us. I know exactly what you mean by not wanting to be dragged down too. I feel the same way. It is a torturous tug of war with your heart.


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#60549 - 03/10/06 08:14 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
confused wife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 10
p.s. My marriage was a lie...I've been thinking that same thing.


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#60550 - 03/10/06 02:41 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
Phoster - Your post truly made me cry. It gave me the courage last night to tell my husband the way I have been feeling. I do not believe that this communication will help us recover our marriage but it did feel good to get it out in the open since most of our marriage has been me making sure he was okay. You are so right that this is sad because we do love each other dearly and I only want what is best for him. On the other hand, he keeps telling me that I deserve better than he has ever been able to give me emotionally and you know what, I believe him. There's the tragedy. I'm just trying to get through this difficult time the best way I know how.

Confused Wife - I wish I knew what to say to you. It does make it a little easier on me to walk away because we do not have children. My heart aches for you.


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#60551 - 03/10/06 02:54 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
i thought that along the way, that my wife deserved better, and she did, but where i was wrong was thinking i couldnt give it to her. i couldnt in the state i was in, feeling sorry for myself and depressed, but when i am healthy, i can be all she ever needs. i just hope i havent damaged us so badly that i wont get that chance. unfortunately, it took that affair for me to finally get it. it took having to move home for a time, and to live day to day without the kids and her for me to see what i had. i dont know if you can, because sometimes people are just too hurt to ever recover, but if you can, you might start with a separation. let him taste life without you and the kids, and maybe he'll be like me and realize what he had to lose all along, and what real unhappiness feels like. it could change him deeply.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#60552 - 03/11/06 08:37 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
I am moved by this thread. It gives me some idea of how my wife may feel/may have felt. whoami, confused wife, phoster and others, I weep for and with you. It takes a lot of courage to talk about this stuff. I think I am coming away from this thread with a little better understanding. Thank-you.

I'll be thinking of each of you who's shared your pain.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
ďLifeís journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ĎHoly ____Ö! What a ride!íĒ ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#60553 - 03/11/06 02:51 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I agree with you completely. This entire forum gives me a perspective that I had lacked for so long. Some of the things it shows me about myself are painful to accept, but I think I am/will become a better man and partner as a result.

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)

Top
#60554 - 03/11/06 06:24 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
whoami,

Quote:
On the other hand, he keeps telling me that I deserve better than he has ever been able to give me emotionally and you know what, I believe him.
I believe him too.

I understand why it would hurt you so deeply to hear that your partner is unhappy.

I spent some very unhappy years in my relationship when things were hard for my partner. It was certainly easy for both of us to blame the difficulties on circumstances-- we didn't like where we were living, money was tight, etc.

I didn't complain. I figured every relationship goes through a tough patch, everything worthwhile takes some hard work, ten years from now we could laugh about this stuff together, etc. I was more than willing to spend a limited amount of time being unhappy with my circumstances because I had a goal in mind of a whole life together. I assumed that he felt the same way and that he was stressed out and unsupportive because life was just a lot of work at the time.

What made it okay to me was the understanding-- what I later learned was my assumption-- that we were working together towards the same goal.

Then I found out that while I'd been unhappy, un-supported, trying so hard to keep things together, all that time he had been acting with total disregard for that goal that I thought we shared. He'd been shitting all over everything I thought WE were working toward with his lies and acting out, without stopping to think about me, and our kids.

I felt like my hard work and dedication meant less than nothing to him. I felt resentment and anger about that period of my life, not because of the choices I made, but because I felt I'd been tricked into making them. And then all of the sudden he wants to get better, and HIS unhappiness is the only thing that matters.

I have said on this forum before that I think the only thing that saved my relationship was that we were years away from these events, and on much better ground, before he disclosed the abuse and acting out. Trying to save the relationship at that point would have been like doing surgery on someone with a bad infection.


I guess the point of the story is that the present does not have to be the past. You deserved better than you got; what about now? Can he give you what you want and need in a partner now? Does he want to learn how? Do you want to accept it from him? Has he given you any reason to believe that this is possible for him?

You don't need to answer me; if you don't feel like you can say Yes to these questions, I suspect that you'll pay a higher price in self-doubt and guilt for staying than you would for leaving. But I think it's important to say that we can accept the past, and how badly it's hurt us, without letting it make our decisions for us now.

(edited to add-- This was an uncomfortable post for me to write because both of us played a part in the way things worked out, and I'm not saying much here that holds me accountable for my part. The feelings and actions I'm describing were not coming from a healthy place in me-- they don't reflect who I am today. But before I could deal with that, I needed to give myself permission to deal with the rest of what I'm talking about in this post. It is a step in a long process. -S)


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#60555 - 03/13/06 12:01 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Whoami

I just wanted say that your story is so similar to where I was about 9 months ago and I feel for you very much.
Your love for this man comes through you posts and whatever decision you take next will be hard because youre either going to lose him and your marriage or be in for an emotional rollercoster with an uncertain outcome.

Whichever path you choose I wish you well and I for one will applaud you whichever decision you take. This is no dress rehersal, we only have one life and we all deserve to live it in as rich a way as possible.

I chose to stay with him and am so very glad I did.

Love

T


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#60556 - 03/13/06 06:19 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
SAR - whoever you are, you are incredible.

Quote:
I didn't complain. I figured every relationship goes through a tough patch, everything worthwhile takes some hard work, ten years from now we could laugh about this stuff together, etc. I was more than willing to spend a limited amount of time being unhappy with my circumstances because I had a goal in mind of a whole life together. I assumed that he felt the same way and that he was stressed out and unsupportive because life was just a lot of work at the time.
This is exactly how I have felt over the past couple of years, I mean EXACTLY. And, I figured that I just wasn't as needy as he was. I also am generally happy no matter what - I look at happiness as a decision that I consciously make every morning when I get up to start my day.

Quote:
I felt like my hard work and dedication meant less than nothing to him. I felt resentment and anger about that period of my life, not because of the choices I made, but because I felt I'd been tricked into making them. And then all of the sudden he wants to get better, and HIS unhappiness is the only thing that matters.
Again, you are conveying exactly what I'm feeling. Maybe one day, I'll let him read this so that he will truly understand where I am.

Up to now, I haven't felt like I wanted to even give reconciliation a thought because I am stubborn and like I said, I told him in August that if he gave me his unhappiness speil again that it was over. But, I have never wanted this and I haven't thought that anything much was wrong with our life, certainly not big things. Now I wonder if a 6 - 12 month separation might really do us some good and make him realize what he had. I am a little afraid to let him know that little tidbit for fear of rejection. He did, however, say Thursday that he hoped that I wasn't doing this just because I said I would. That really hit home because that pretty much is the reason.

I really want him to get to a healthier place. No child should ever have to endure all the things that he has endured (alcoholic mother, murdered father, sexual abuse). It is truly amazing that he is alive and functioning at all.

I feel like you all are my only friends right now because I promised my husband that I would not discuss this with any of my friends in order to protect him.

Tracy - Tell me what happened once you decided to stay and now that some time has passed.


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#60557 - 03/14/06 01:39 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I'm sorry you're here too. Being the partner of a survivor is fraught with danger and heartache. I too am in a very precarious place. My b/f is a mess and canít make up his mind from one moment to the next what he wants to be when he grows up. No, not in his professional life, which is quite successful, but as a functioning, personally successful, satisfied and happy man. He doesnít know how to do that. His ability to do that was torn from him as a child by the very people who were supposed to love and care for him.

The deeper I get into this and the more I learn the more I find I donít know. Iím able to make connections as to why he thinks certain things and acts certain ways, but I canít undo it - only he can. Your husband has admitted his unhappiness, but has he told you why heís unhappy? If heís frustrated with what heís accomplished in his life and your life together, has he honestly answered himself as to why? Does he just want to move on in the hopes of finding something better without knowing why he feels itís bad in the first place? I ask this because my b/f will not acknowledge to me or his T that his childhood had anything whatsoever to do with his adult decisions and problems. Thatís a gigantic hurdle and I know that until he does that, he canít move onto the next step. Could your husband be fighting the same fight with himself?

You will make the right decisions for yourself, you have to or two lives will be destroyed. You bear no responsibility for what happened to him as a child and from what you write, youíve done nothing but be a good woman, for yourself and for him. Thereís no room for guilt in that scenario. Sadness for lost time yes, but not guilt.

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

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

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#60558 - 03/15/06 06:55 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Whoami

Its a bit of a long story. I'll give you a snapshot.

He didn't know if he wanted the relationship, was confusd about his sexuality(had had secret sex with men), had reached the end of his ability to function, had a virtual breakdown really. We had about 3 months apart and only saw each other at couples councelling whilst we worked through the worst of the crisis and made our decisions about whether or not we had a future.

That break was crucial for both of us as was the couples councelling.

Since we decided to be together we've both been seeing a Therapist seperatly as well as a couples councellor for a while and just recently a pschosexual therapist. Most of this is free, we are so lucky.

The biggest thing that has helped us is BOTH acknowledging that we need to change. I just saw his "odd" beahviour, all the external factors eg; work, money, family etc. impacting on our hapiness and now I finally properly see me in all that. Hard but worth it.

Now:

Well we've set a date to get married. He is feeling so much more and I feel listened to and valued coz he doesn't just zone out if I'm cross or sad or raise an issue which needs dealing with. We are both discovering a sense of power in being able to change our lives, I nag less, give him more space, persue my own interests more........its an endless list it seeems because we've chnaged so much but we would not have got there without Therapists and I wouldn't have got to first base without first understanding how a heterosexual man could spend his adult life looking for the oldest most repulsive men he could find and giving them BJ's. I learnt all of that and so much more on this site. I'm endebted.

Your decision will be the right one for you. If you wanted an opinion, I'd say give it a go but obviously thats based on my very personal experince of one.

Believe in yourself.

Love

Tracy


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#60559 - 03/16/06 12:31 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
clemente Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Eastern US
First time poster here. This thread has been so meaningful to me. Many thanks to all of you for sharing so thoughtfully and deeply. A special thanks to "Larry" for the list of things that survivors need to hear from their loved one(s). I have copied that into my file called "Research" where I have been stashing all the information I can find on male sexual abuse survivors and their partners. Whoami, if you have not already read this book, get "Victims No Longer" (2004 edition) by Mike Lew. It will give you perspective and understanding.

_________________________
Clemente

"Time is the currency of love..."

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#60560 - 03/16/06 05:09 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I know what you mean! I've been here for a long time and it's STILL such a relief to know that someone else can identify \:\)

I also kept my partner's disclosure quiet at his request-- this is a burden that can really weigh you down... especially when the people who know you well, know that something is going on in your relationship. Is there anyone you can speak to about some of what's going on?

I like what Tracy had to say about developing a sense of power because she and her fiance can change things in their lives. I know that a lot of what I did the first few months after I found out about his SA, I did because I felt so powerless and out of control-- you know, a LOT of what I have learned about my partner and myself in the last few years has come back to control... I can relate to your feeling that once you said you were going to do something, you had to do it even if you didn't want to anymore.

Part of what I realized after I learned about the acting out, was that I was trying to hard to control my life because there was so much of it that I didn't want... or enjoy... I was "choosing to be happy" every day, but I wasn't making the daily decisions that I would have felt happiest about. If I had been, I wouldn't have had to "choose" to be happy so hard.

I didn't physically separate from my partner at any point, but I did start drawing some lines that really changed the relationship I had with him... in a way you could say that over a period of 6-12 months, we did end that relationship and start a new one.

Does that make any sense?


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#60561 - 03/16/06 12:44 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
One thing (among many!) that I really like about SAR's general attitude to this situation is her stress on where the two partners are NOW.

I say that because I have never found it all that productive to go back to the past with the idea of assigning a chronology of "You did this", "No, you did that", "Ah, but that was because...", and so on. I don't think it ever helped my wife either. It just frustrated us and got down to an exercise in assigning blame rather than solving problems. We were maneuvering, not sharing; strategy was more important than honesty.

I'm not saying, of course, that the past doesn't matter. It very much does. But the bottom line really is, "Where am I now?".

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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#60562 - 03/16/06 05:09 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
I have had some fairly good talks with my husband over the last few days. He is hurting so badly it just about kills me. I introduced him to this site and I believe he is overwhelmed and relieved to have this resource. I know that I am. You all seem like such good, healthy people and you really understand the problems that each of us has no matter how different they are.

I did open the door just a crack to let him know that a reconciliation in the distant future was not out of the question but that it would take a lot of work on his part (and mine). But, he is so new into his recovery (he has only ever talked about it with me and his T in the last 6 months) and is still very unhealthy. He still has the feelings that I don't deserve this and he doesn't deserve me and on and on. He wants me to help him as much as I can as a friend not as a spouse. So, I really don't know anything to do other than move forward. If he had expressed some interest in reconciling in the distant future, then I would possibly take our house off the market and move forward a little differently than if I know divorce is eminent. Anyway, I'm ok with it either way. I just know that he will realize soon that this is a mistake and that I really am "as good as it gets" and then it will be too late.

I wish there was something I could do to ease his pain. I don't believe I have ever felt so helpless in my life. And, being the control freak that I am, it is a little uncomfortable.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.


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#60563 - 03/16/06 06:05 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
he is likely so confused at this point that he doesnt even know what he wants. i know it hurts, but i think you are doing the right thing. go on with your life the best you can. i have been in recovery for four years at least, and i have only gotten into my marriage with both feet and a healthy, happy outlook in the last six months, and only after more mistakes than i can count.

goodluck on your journey, and goodluck with your marriage. i really hate to see love die. it is such a precious thing.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#60564 - 03/16/06 06:21 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
Dan88 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 247
Loc: DC
I can only give one survivorís perspective on this. And since I donít know the whole story, Iíll keep it short. It pisses me off no end to see the destruction that this crap causes. I usually look at it from the survivorís perspective, and I think about the long road heís facing and the fact that it will probably get worse.

But I do try to see it from a spouseís point of view, too. Where exactly do you go to get those 13 years back that you invested in the marriage? Who makes good on the lie that you were marrying a ďnormalĒ guy. A survivorís denial, which we call a defense mechanism, is a terribly selfish thing. Itís good, I suppose, in that it keeps us from suicide or some other self-destructive behaviors. But boy oh boy itís still selfish and hurtful to those that get deluded into buying the lies we create about ourselves.

Wish I had some great advice, but I donít. Iíll just say Iím sorry for what youíre going through and I donít think you should feel any guilt about moving on. Youíre entitled to a life, too, one thatís built on reality.


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#60565 - 03/16/06 08:07 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
What I want you all to pray for me is that I will find someone who is comfortable in his own skin, who doesn't have to sit in a room where he has to be able to see an exit, who feels comfortable in a social setting and all the other things that survivors feel and do. I will tell you that this whole thing really makes me question my judgment about other people.


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#60566 - 03/16/06 08:20 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I feel for your pain and frustration. I can tell you that a recovered survivor can be all the things you want. But the question is are you prepared to go through the work of recovery with him, without guarantees that he will stick with it and produce the results? From what you say it sounds to me like he is unlikely to make a real effort without you, even though the way he talks now sounds like he has already given up. Remember that that's the feelings of shame and worthlessness talking, not him.

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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#60567 - 03/16/06 10:03 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
The T that he has been seeing for the past 6 months does not specialize in SA. She suggested that she refer him to someone else and he refused. However, I talked to him the other night about it and after tooling around this site a bit, he has decided to let her refer him after his appointment next Tuesday.

I am not completely closed to the idea of trying to help him through this. As I said, I care for him a great deal and want to see him healthy and happy - even if that means with someone else. We are great friends. And I will do anything he asks. But for now, I'm movin' on. He knows I'm here for him in the meantime.

P.S. I did order the book - Victims No Longer. Should have it Monday.


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#60568 - 03/17/06 05:35 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

That's great news that he has agreed to see a T who specializes in abuse cases. She ought to be able to help him enormously - if he will open up and talk to her.

I'm also glad you are considering your options and feelings carefully, but in all honesty I still see a lot of conflict in what you are telling us. You are fed up and used up, as you say, but you still care for him deeply. That caring strikes me as being the caring of a wife, not a friend. But of course that is for you to consider and decide.

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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#60569 - 03/17/06 05:44 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
i'm very fortunate as far as therapists, one of the leaders in the field is in Columbus. i was fortunate in that the first place i started was with the locater here that helped me find Howard.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#60570 - 03/17/06 07:09 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
whoami Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 11
Loc: South Carolina
This site does not have any recommendations for T's in South Carolina. Hopefully, whoever he is getting referred to will know what to do with him.
;\)


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#60571 - 03/18/06 04:46 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Keep talking to us, whoami. I have the sense that you have the power to get those things you want. \:\)


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#60572 - 03/19/06 01:34 AM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
clemente Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Eastern US
Whoami:

Someone else on the board suggested to me that I send a private message to Ken Singer and ask if he knew of anyone in my local area. They might not be listed on this site as a professional, but Ken might know someone from his work and seminars across the country. Good luck.

_________________________
Clemente

"Time is the currency of love..."

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#60573 - 03/19/06 04:25 PM Re: My Marriage was a Lie
MurrayNYC Offline
Past President
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/30/02
Posts: 141
Loc: New York
While I do not know either of these two people professionally, I have their names as participants in our recent International Conference on male sexual victimization. They may be a source referral for the therapy Whoami is seeking:

Joyce Callis, EdS,MFT
Alliance for Community Trust
25 Mills Avenue
Greenville, SC 29605
864-467-2646
jtwittycallis@yahoo.com

Don Elsey, EdD
Low Country Children's Center
1061 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
843-723-3600
delsey@dalcc.org


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