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#60698 - 04/02/06 02:09 PM Re: Acting Out
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I have said this in the past, but it's worth saying over and over again. One of the most important things I am learning here is to broaden the way I look at things to include the woman who is the most important person in the world to me.

I think learning to deal with the ways abuse affected me also means I have to consider how it likewise affected my wife, and for so long in ways that neither of us understood.

It's not just that I want a healed relationship, though of course I do want that. I want a healed relationship in which she feels that her pain and needs are not less important than my own. Listening and talking to the partners here is playing such a vital role in the ways I am developing a sense of how that can happen. My own acting out was not sexual, but more emotional: remaining distant, inability to take valid criticism, radical mood swings, sexual dysfunction, fear of rejection, low self esteem, to name just a few. But the more I think of it the more clearly I can see how challenging and frustrating all this must have been to her.

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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#60700 - 01/21/07 01:35 AM Re: Acting Out
Savannah Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/05
Posts: 13
Does it matter what kind of acting out, i.e. with women or men? Or whether it's emotional or purely physical?


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#60701 - 01/21/07 02:30 AM Re: Acting Out
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Does it matter to what Savannah?

I've been on the wrong end of my partner acting out with other women. I've spoken with partners whose survivor has acted out with men. Each and every time, the damage to the relationship and to the partner is the same. Sure there are some differences, but in the end, we're hurt, angry, our self esteem winds up in the toilet and every other thing you could possibly think of.

At the same time, the input from the survivors above shows that their actions/reactions are also very similar whether it was a male or female that they acted out with.

As for whether it's emotional or purely physical, well, I don't think emotion comes in to play when your talking about acting out. An emotional tie would indicate an affair to me and that's a completely different animal.

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

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

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#60702 - 01/21/07 02:52 AM Re: Acting Out
selene Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 221
Loc: midwest
.

_________________________
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery from The Little Prince

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#60703 - 01/21/07 03:10 AM Re: Acting Out
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
You're right Selene. I should have clarified that I don't believe any loving positive emotions exist in acting out. Especially not to the point where either party, especially the survivor, can get something other than the physical or emotional release out of acting out. There's no thought along the lines of a relationship.

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

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

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#60704 - 01/21/07 03:31 AM Re: Acting Out
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Tonight I've begun to wonder if the reason I'm so desperate to understand "acting out" is because somehow I think it's less painful and more acceptable to me if he's cheating because of his abuse issues.....when really maybe it ought to hurt just as much as just plain ol' cheating. It is still terribly hard to forgive and unacceptable in a marriage, and I wonder if I'm more tolerant because it may be tied to his abuse, and should I be? Also why does it matter if it's w/ men or women? It hurts the same. I'm just feeling a little angry/betrayed tonight and wondering just how trustworthy he can be again in the future. Dr. Phil's words haunt me: "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior" I hope I'm not just being pessimistic. I want to be realistic.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#60705 - 01/21/07 03:48 AM Re: Acting Out
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Cheating is cheating to a parnter but I know for me I am more willing to forgive because I've come to learn that acting out is, sadly, a horrible reaction to what my b/f has been through. If he were just a jerk tom-catting around, I could kick him to the curb and go on with my life.

That being said though, it is not something to be tolerated indefinately, actually, I don't believe it's something I could deal with again. Fidelity is something we're entitled to when we believe and have been led to believe by our partners that we are in a committed relationship.

As for the trust, well that takes time and work to re-coup. I was watching the show intervention the other night. The daughter was out of re-hab and trying like hell to do all the right things and stay clean. She'd been doing well for months, but the parents, the father in particular was still dis-trustful. The T sat down with everyone and asked some very pointed questions of the father. All of his answers were positive about the daughter. Then the T said, OK, she's done everything she can to regain your trust, you acknowledge that, but there's still a little bit left, right? Right, he said. The T said well, she'll never earn that back, you have to give it to her. That statement hit me like a ton of bricks because of the absolute truth of it.

No matter how hard my b/f works to regain my trust, there will always be a little piece of me that won't trust him, unless I make the decision to let it go. I've made that decision.

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

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

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#60706 - 01/21/07 04:08 AM Re: Acting Out
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Writing through tears now, Trish....that bit about giving the last bit of trust back is pretty neat....how do we know if they are cheating b/c of abuse issues solely, or if they wouldn't have been faithful even if they hadn't been abused? I guess we'll never really know that one. I don't know why I'm having such a hard time w/ this tonight. Normally I am able to "look at him through Jesus' eyes' and I want to still do that....I do....I still hurt for the little boy that was abused....but he's also a 38-yr-old man with a family....I think it's so hard because I knew he cheated 5 yrs ago, and he saw all the pain it caused me, and from things he's said to me recently, there's a huge likliehood that he has done it again since, and is waiting to admit it in front of our counselor like he did back then, just isn't ready to yet. And I'm hurting because I trusted him again after the last time, and the pain is just pretty bad right now to think he could still do it again even though he knew I was devastated back then.

My heart is breaking because I do love him so much, always have, always saw him as a decent guy and thought the cheating was not worthy of him, we have had a beautiful little girl since then and so much happiness surrounding that blessed event.

Maybe I'm just having a rough night. One of those big lows on the rollercoaster.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#60707 - 01/21/07 04:34 AM Re: Acting Out
AshSurvived Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
I think I act out, well probably act in really, because of the emotions involved. It's hard to pin it down, when I have it figured out I won't need to get help anymore. But I think I am recoiling from the emotions that get triggered at random from my abuse and I go back to what I know. Which used to be hurting myself and is now fictional stories or cartoon pictures that sort of symbolise what I'm feeling or would have acted out.

I tense up and shut down my feelings, I become totally withdrawn. Acting out for me can even be as simple as spending the whole day on wikipedia without eating, just researching gandhi or something. It might not sound so terrible, but when my wife gets home I am compelled to tell her all about it and rattle on like a nut.

Anything to get me into my pure intellect and away from others and feelings and relating. I get completely miserable and out of touch, my body aches and my posture is that of a hurt little boy. I'm still feeling this way from yesterday and I'm contemplating doing it again. If I can somehow start to be more in my body, present and aware, if I can start to find things I actually enjoy doing that aren't intellectual or hard work I think I might be able to stop acting out. Rather, the desire might subside. But I just don't know how yet. I don't know how to be a natural child and have fun. I get mad at people, it occurred to me yesterday, who act like natural children, which most adults do. I'm jealous and I'm angry that they stay that way and don't keep growing, I think it's these people that I clash with.

I feel an abhorrence of feelings and this could be in great part due to my conditioning which was all about pain and 'don't you dare cry' and so forth. If I act out I don't have to risk trusting myself or creating anything new. There are templates for acting out in me and plenty more in the world because so many men create and demand them because we're all in the same boat.

It sickens me to think so many have gone before me and come after me that there are these templates; that it's so easy, so convenient.

I think it has a lot to do with my early conditioing not just purely the sexual abuse because I act in typical ways: thinking and sexual gratification. For me the abuse of my sexual abusers and the abuse from others in the form of conditioning with violence and shame and all that are inseperable. It's all templates with all sorts of traps should I try to escape the template.

But I reiterate, it's getting a lot better. And my wife's acceptence or knowledge is pretty much irrelevent to whether I act out or not, it's purely self preservation. And because I can't do anything I want to do, any of the things others take for granted I don't feel all that guilty. I'm a drummer who can't play drums, a singer who can't sing and a writer who can't write. I can't do the only things I'm good at so I feel entitled to some escape, even if it ruins me, I have nothing else left.

_________________________
"It's your world Dave, I'm just livin' in it"

- Harvey Pekar to David Letterman
(American Splendour)

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#143180 - 02/25/07 08:19 AM Re: Acting Out [Re: AshSurvived]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Ash,

"I'm a drummer who can't drum, a singer who can't sing...".

I'm 43 years old, and I know it sounds a bit patronizing when older peopls say things like, "but you're so young...!". But it's true. I can remember when I was 36 like yesterday. But 28? At 28 I had been married to my first husband for one year. And geeze, it sometimes seems like a lifetime ago.
What I'm saying is that at 28 you're confronting who you are in a way that most do not. I certainly didn't.

K.


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