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#61614 - 05/10/06 06:03 AM Your input will be appreciated
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Friends,

I received an email today from a family friend who knows I am a male survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She has a lovely 20 year-old daughter who, out of the blue, asked the following questions of her. I asked for and received her permission to present those questions to "some friends of mine", and solicit your responses to pass on to her daughter.

So, here goes...
Quote:
If I am considering marrying a guy who might (but I don't know) have been sexually abused...what do I need to consider? In other words, how do I act, explore, support, decide? What warning signs would I look for that indicate an unhealthy enough way of dealing with it so as to affect the marriage beyond the ability to work through either the issue or the marriage? In other words, what are some signs that might indicate that he cannot and will not ever be able to have a healthy marriage?
There it is. I have already presented my own thoughts to those asking, and am looking forward to the collective wisdom of my friends here.

In the interest of keeping the site safe, I have left with her the impression that I am seeking advise from a support group I am a member of, and leaving no impression that this support group is web based. I will only use quotes excerpted from your posts and not any identifiable information regarding the post-er such as user name, etc.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#61615 - 05/10/06 06:35 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
my advice would be to find out if he has been abused ,how you would do that is another question ,just comming out and asking might not be the best way ,untill you know it is hard to say what you should do .one thing to consider is he may well not want to talk about it ,it has to be up to him . asking a survivor out of the blue if he was abused could be major trigger for some of us,in my case i always thought people could tell just by looking at me ,so someone asking me that without warning would make me feel that it must be true people can tell . my advice is try to get him to open up but very gently ,also i would have to ask what made you think he might be a suurvivor ? from my experience survivors of abuse are great people with great strenghts ,in fact they are without question more caring and compassionate than so called normal people .

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#61616 - 05/10/06 09:49 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I think the first order of business is this. She needs to know that if she has doubts on any issues at all, abuse or other things, she should deal with these things before she marries the guy. I know that's easy to say, but I'm not sure how she will deal with this in practical terms.

For example, he may show all the signs of having been abused, but he may be in denial. If he is, he may think there is nothing to talk about and of course will say so. Then what does she do?

Perhaps what she needs to ask herself how important this guy is in her life and how she will feel if suddenly he "discovers" that he has been abused and proceeds to fall apart emotionally - and for a long time.

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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#61617 - 05/11/06 01:21 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

That's so hard to answer.

First, I agree with Larry that any doubts about ANYthing should be cleared up before consideration of marriage.

Second, if my daughter came to me at 20 thinking about marriage to the best, richest guy in the world, I would beg her to wait for at least a few years. We are completely different people between the ages of 20 and 30.

Third, if she really believes that he was abused it may be that he showing some kind of behavior that she is not happy with; she wants it to be fixed but he won't or can't do that right now. Further, it sounds like she's looking for a guarantee that he will deal with whatever his issue is and they will live happily every after. No such guarantee exists, but when you're 20, you believe it does which goes back to why I would beg my daughter to wait.

I got married at 21; that was 22 years ago and even then, 21 was too young. I had a child at 24 and got divorced at 25. By then, I was as far away from the 20 year old who was jumping around ‘cause someone had put a teeny tiny diamond on my finger as the sun and the moon.

That all being said, what if any of your wives had known you were abused and that they would be dealing with it for so much of their married life before you had even acknowledged a need to deal yourself? The marriage may not have happened at all if the "what ifs" had been answered.

Ok, so I’m a bit contradictory........The bottom line for me is - 20 is too young and if she’s asking questions even before there’s an engagement ring on her finger, then she’s not ready.

I don’t envy the position your friend is in.

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

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

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#61618 - 05/11/06 12:48 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
Second, if my daughter came to me at 20 thinking about marriage to the best, richest guy in the world, I would beg her to wait for at least a few years. We are completely different people between the ages of 20 and 30.
I so agree with this. If my son (22 next week) or daughter (18) told me they wanted to get married, I would have serious reservations.

Society tells us that at 18 we are "adults". Okay, old enough to make decisions like drinking, electing leaders, driving and so on. But choosing a partner for life?. I'm not sure.

It used to be that society helped out with this by defining male and female roles for us. A wife should be at home tending to kids and dealing with the home, while the husband was expected to be the provider, builder, fix-it man, and so on. Now, of course, all that has changed. Roles in a relationship pretty much depend on the two partners making the huge effort of finding their own way through largely uncharted territory. These days I would say 20 is too early, though I know many will marry at that age or earlier anyway and many of those relationships will thrive.

I also think the pressures and demands made on a 20-year-old are far more severe than they were decades ago. So far as I can see, the world calls on us now for a lot of time and energy that in the past would have gone to our partners. How to work through all that is something that comes only with experience, I think. I did not get married until I was 30, and even then I felt I was rather challenged in terms of maturity. But perhaps that was just me.

I'm not saying that young people can't function as adults and achieve great things. Of course they can. I just think finding and KEEPING a partner is a lot tougher these days and calls for a maturity and commitment that we are just starting to develop in our early 20s.

I would probably tell my two to try living together for a few years with their bf or gf and see how it goes. Try out the real world of bills, pressures, work schedules and home commitments and responsibilities, and see how different it is from the world of dating and newly discovered romance.

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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#61619 - 05/12/06 02:47 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
Born to Resist Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
John,

A lot of depends for your question and more questions for the situation. Mainly how long have they being going out. Even if they have been going out for a long time ... simply put they should wait at least until she's 25 to get married. 20 seems so young to be seriously thinking about marriage ... especially with the high divorce rate for people getting married so young. From this basis it would give her more time to get to know her boyfriend and find out more information about his potential abuse. Additionally give them more time to work through what seems to be apparent issues to her already.

Courage-Wisdom-Spirituality


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#61620 - 05/12/06 08:36 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Thanks everyone for your responses. I've sent your replies on to my friend, and she in turn has sent them on to her daughter. I've heard back from them.

They are both very appreciative to the responses and concerns you expressed. The daughter told her mother that it was her express purpose to ask people in the older generation who have life experience about this issue. She further stated that in her mind it was not too useful for a 20 year-old to go asking her 20 year-old friends for advise in this matter. If she couldn't figure out an answer why would her friends be able to do any better? A pretty mature perspective for a 20 year-old, don't you think?

The only remaining question will be what she does with what we've shared with her.

Again, my thanks to each of you.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#61621 - 05/12/06 02:15 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Jeez, I really hate being the older generation \:D I agree that her perspective and willingness to listen to us older folks is a very mature thing to do.

I'm going to go play in my sandbox now, maybe my youth is buried in there somewhere :p .

ROCK ON.......Trish

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

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#61622 - 05/12/06 06:29 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Trish,

I found mine there! a bit tattered and bruised, but it was there!!! LOL

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#61623 - 05/12/06 08:13 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
"Older generation": My kids have asked me things like the following:

1. Is it really true you had no Internet when you were a kid?

2. Was there really no color TV when you were my age?

3. How did you figure out what to do if you didn't have mobile phones?

4. Dad, how do I use this? (referring to a rotary dial phone).

5. Did you really get spanked when you were a kid?

6. What's polio?

7. Why doesn't Grandpa want to talk about when he was in the Navy?

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
#61624 - 05/13/06 01:38 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Have you ever seen "That 70's Show"? One episode several years ago centered around the gas crisis in the 70's. I was watching it with my daughter and laughing my butt off as was she, but then she turned to me and said, "yeah right, like that would ever happen!" As I fell of the couch in hysterics, I told her it DID happen and proceeded to tell her stories of sitting with my friends in line in Mrs. McGraw's big ole station wagon for 2 hours waiting to get gas so she could take us somewhere. She didn't buy a word of it...........but it was all true!

Mmmmmm, guess that story gets me kicked out of the sand box. \:D

ROCK ON......Trish

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

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#61625 - 05/13/06 11:14 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
clemente Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Eastern US
Aw, we watched that show's almost finale the other evening. I guess the GRAND finale will be next week, but this one had all sorts of clips from over the years. My kids always had trouble believing some of the stuff on that show and for me it was like TIME TRAVEL!

_________________________
Clemente

"Time is the currency of love..."

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#61626 - 05/20/06 05:03 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I am coming a bit late to this post, but my boyfriend and I have been living together and raising our children since BELOW the age of 20 and we have had our ups and downs but as far as I can tell, so has every other couple who's been together for nearly ten years. And we seem to be rolling along with the best of them at the moment.

It can work. Honestly, we went wrong more than once, taking some dubious "support" and advice from older adults in our lives, because it was easy to buy into the idea that they knew better than us. We could have stood to do things our own way a bit more.

Especially if she suspects abuse from within the family, I would say that what she needs to be most concerned about is a willingness in her boyfriend to stand up for himself as a grown man, and take on his own responsibilities, while still respecting his role in the family as a young adult (maybe still a dependent? I don't know). Does he maintain his own finances? Take care of his own car or other property? Make his own doctor's appointments etc... or do his parents continue to manage those areas of his life? Does he have anger or resentment about their demands on his time, or does he avoid them? If he lives out of the home, do they expect him to continue behaving like he lives there? For example, my mother in law left my boyfriend's name on the answering machine for about a year after we moved out, even after she changed the outgoing message, was very upset when he changed his legal address, and expected him to come over at least once or twice a week to do household tasks that others living at home could have done.

I would give this advice to anyone marrying young-- for us, these issues were related to his CSA stuff but I don't know that they have to be, and they were a huge part of our troubles early on. You can make it work, but you can't be a child and a husband at the same time.


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#61627 - 05/20/06 07:09 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Thanks SAR,

I've passed it on to the questioners. They've been quite appreciative of the input given by all of you.

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#61628 - 05/20/06 05:38 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I was married two days after my 21st birthday, and somehow we're still married. But we've had some hard times.

Most of those we can now attribute to my response to my abuse over the years, isn't hindsight a wonderful thing eh ?

I would say that she needs to know - even a simple "yes or no" to the question "were you abused?"

If that scares him off then he ain't ready, if it triggers him, then THEY BOTH have to make decisions - sooner rather than later might just be better?

Just having unanswered suspicions will make the relationship difficult, so will a bit more difficulty be too much? If it is then other questions need asking I think.

Tough call, but then marriage can be tough as well.

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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#61629 - 05/20/06 06:21 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

As usual I like your perspective on this one. Independent adult life can get very tough indeed, and sharing it all with a partner requires real maturity and hard work. If the guy cannot answer the question "Were you abused" when it comes from the girl he plans to marry, then that raises all sorts of troubling problems. When will he deal with this? Is past abuse affecting how he behaves now? How will it impact upon him when he has children of his own? And so on.

So yes, it is a question that needs to be addressed, and the sooner the better. The woman in his life DOES need this information.

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
#61630 - 05/21/06 12:03 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Sometimes I think people can walk on egg shells far too much when it comes to OTHER peoples abuse problems, and we as survivors can easily accept that situation. The truth is it can often be the easy ( lazy ) option for many of us on both sides.

I know that we can be triggered, I know that we must be the ones to deal with our shit, and that those that love and care for us want to do it in the best possible way, that's a given.

But we can be triggered by a news item on TV or in the paper, a smell or a sound can do it. And we deal with that trigger as it arises.
So is it any different if someone asks us an outright question, even if it's one we don't want to hear or answer? We still get triggered......

I don't think asking 'us' questions is so bad, as long as they're asked for the right reasons, and I think that this young lady in question has not only the right reasons, but a right to ask if she loves the guy and expects to marry him.

As for his 'feelings' - then I think he has a responsibility to provide some kind of answer, and then they can deal with his feelings together or not, but they stand a chance of making a decision and maybe taking some actions together, something that couples should be prepared to do.

It could quite possibly lead to the relationship ending, or it could be a catalyst, who can tell?
How many of us have lived lives in the shadow of doubts and suspicions? far too many of us as our partners wondered what the hell was wrong with us.

I just wanted someone to ask me what was wrong, that was a part of my risk taking when acting out for a start, I now believe I WANTED to get caught so someone would ask "why?"
And it's far better done sooner rather than later, and more importantly under conditions where any possible fallout can be dealt with properly and effectively.

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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#61631 - 05/21/06 08:20 AM Re: Your input will be appreciated
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Dave and Larry,

Thanks for the input. I think there is a really important point made that if she is serious about this guy, she needs to lay it on the line with him at some point. Not in a confrontational way, but in a way that says. I need to know this before we can move on, lets talk about it.

I've passed your comments on to her, and got a reply back expressing her sincere appreciation for the input. She says it's the best advise she's gotten.

Thanks again.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

Top
#61632 - 05/21/06 04:09 PM Re: Your input will be appreciated
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

In fact I think it's crucial that she avoid a confrontation of the type: "If you do/don't do A, I will/won't do B." That throws an accusing gauntlet down and doesn't suggest anything like working together to find a solution.

Something like this would be better: "If you are an abuse survivor, then you have to understand that, though I love you very much, I need to know whether you are prepared to take the problem seriously and do whatever is required to make our marriage a secure one. That begins with talking to me about what happened. Not the details, just the bare framework will do for now. This is part of the communication that a marriage needs to survive."

But it works two ways. SHE has to be prepared to hear things that she may never have thought could be done to a child, and to understand the devastating effects that this can have on a young man later on.

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
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