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#61937 - 05/24/06 06:40 PM My story (long !)
lizzieluvsu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Metro NY
I am the devoted wife (almost 20 years) to a terrific guy who is a male survivor. I am also the hurt, angry, frustrated and deeply betrayed wife of a male survivor. What surprises me more and more is the way I keep these two “personas” separate. But that's for later I think.

A bit of background. Before we were married, he told me of the CSA. I remember how upset he was when he told me, and I suggested he find help, but left it at that, as he was leaving the college town where we had been in school together, for grad school in another city. And, honestly, I forgot about it for many years.

Our marriage has had its ups and downs. I have always been frustrated by his lack of intimacy. As time went on, I watched him pull farther and farther away. After the birth of our first child (12 years ago) – I saw he was using the internet for porn and some bi-sexual married guy stuff. Not having the greatest self worth at the time (a bad case of post-partum depression) I chalked it up to my lack of ….you name it – support, not entertaining enough, being pretty, thin and vivacious…..the list is endless. About 6 years ago, I discovered that he was visiting some websites for gay men and also sites for men seeking other men for masturbation(and other things – I’m not stupid!). He had established an “alter ego” e-mail, and began lying about where he was. I set him up and established my own alter ego e-mail and contacted him but heard nothing. Thinking that (again!) it was my fault, I stepped up our sex life (it had been piss poor since our first child was born) hoping that it might keep him from those sites. Well the great thing about that was that I got pregnant (I had always wanted more kids – but the sex had been almost non-existent) but the bad thing about it was that I didn’t feel much like keeping up with our re-established sex life.

4 years ago when I was in therapy (another bad case of post-partum depression) I found him with a new identity and soliciting men for mutual masturbation. I actually set him up to meet me (a fictitious man who wanted the same thing) and he took the bait! I confronted him about it and he told me it was ALL MY FAULT – that WE needed to see a marriage counselor!! Well, being fragile – I believed him (sort of), but I sure did not trust him. I also told him that he could find the consellor – which he never did. After a while he contacted the e-mail alter ego I had set up 2 years previous. I strung him along for 3 weeks when finally we made arrangements to “hook-up”. This time when I confronted him about it (from 1,000 miles away on the phone – I’m a big chicken) he denied it, and I let it go, but I knew that he was lying. During this time in therapy, I said to my T “do you think the CSA could have anything to do with all of this?” She said “we’ll see”.

The last year has been very stressful for us as a family. Our 5 yo daughter was diagnosed 1 year ago with a potentially debilitating chronic illness (currently doing well thank God). We are working on a major house rehabilitation project, I went back to work full time for the first time since our son was born 12 years ago, and we are coping with the beginning of the “aging parent” era of middle age. I watched as my husband pulled away even more. Beginning to feel better about me (and my ability to support myself and our kids if I needed to) helped me act on the nagging feeling that he was still up to “no good”. So I caught him again, and confronted him.

He says he didn’t do “anything” though he “came close” (I want to believe him – but am not convinced) He explained that he was learning that this need for intimacy with other men was a result of the CSA. I insisted that he find a therapist, told him that I was committed to him and now we have entered a new phase in our relationship.

So here we are – he is trying to find a supportive therapist who is skilled in men with CSA, he is a member of Male Survivor and feels such love and concern from the members of this group (thank you!), and we are trying to put this marriage back together.


In short I feel:
Relieved that it is all above board now
Angry at me for letting it go on for so long
Angry at him for enabling me to thing it was MY FAULT
Hopeful that when we are thru the worst of it – the man (whom I still think is wonderful, brilliant, talented, handsome and sexy) will be whole and able to enter into an intimate relationship with me and into healthy relationships with others.

If you have read this far – thank you. I have not been able to tell all of this to anyone, and I so appreciate the chance to do it here.


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#61938 - 05/24/06 07:06 PM Re: My story (long !)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm so glad you were able to tell all that. It's a heartbreaking story and all your feelings are absolutely justified.

I'm glad your husband is here with us. It's so important to know that you're not alone and that there is hope of recovery.

But I hope you are taking care of yourself as well as him. He needs to know that there are clear boundaries that you will not tolerate him crossing any longer, and he also needs to understand how deeply he has hurt you not only through the acting out, but by trying to present the whole problem as your fault.

Last but not least, all the best for your efforts to deal with the serious illness of a child. That's of course every parent's nightmare. God bless.

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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#61939 - 05/24/06 11:42 PM Re: My story (long !)
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Liz'
we can be the most devious people in the world, and a lot of that lieing and cheating comes about from sex addiction and compulsive behaviour.

Ask any alcoholic or drug addict what they will do for their fix and they'll tell you how much they will steal lie and cheat, people know about that and expect it.

Sex addiction has the same forces at work, but there's not actually a 'product' that we crave, only a 'behaviour', which seems to most people non-addictive in the sense that it's something we have to do rather than something we like to do.

It's not having an endless stream of supermodels lining up to have sex with you either, it's more likely to be the things you describe your husband doing.

Have a read here, it's a good site.

http://www.sexhelp.com/

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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#61940 - 05/25/06 05:20 PM Re: My story (long !)
Rayne Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 23
Lizzie,

My heart goes out to you. I pretty much have been through all you have, but in a WAY shorter period of time. There is such a pattern with many MS. Your husband needs help, and you probably need some form of help yourself in the way of counseling to deal with this. If I had never gone through this, my first reaction would have been to tell you to leave him, that you don't have to put up with it. But I have gone through it, I do love my husband and I still want my marriage to work.

I can tell you love your husband and he should be so thankful that he has a wife like you. Keep strong.

By the way, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she stays safe.

_________________________
Rayne

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#61941 - 05/25/06 05:31 PM Re: My story (long !)
lizzieluvsu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Metro NY
To all:

Thank you for all your wonderful words. Today I told a good friend and business partner (a rare combination) about all of this. She was the first person I have told ALL of it. I feel now the the gates are open, and honestly, I am more upset now than I have been since the confrontation.

But I think this is good, because I really need to FEEL this, and put all the feelings together.

I do love my husband and want this marriage to work, but I feel gypped of a decent marriage, humiliated and not sure I want to wait while he works all this out.

Lizzie


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#61942 - 05/26/06 02:50 PM Re: My story (long !)
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hi Lizzie!

I could have written so much of what you are posting.

I am impressed with your ability to express the "all your fault" stuff. My partner disclosed to me about three years ago and things have gotten so much better since then, it is like a different relationship-- but the self-doubt and blame about so much of what "I let go on" and what I took responsibility for-- especially with regards to our sex life-- it is still such a source of shame and anger for me.

I know that when you wait for years for improvement, the "not sure if you want to wait" feelings can be pretty overwhelming. But in my experience, once someone is actually ready to change as opposed to just blowing smoke, the change comes quickly.

A short time after my partner's disclosure, I asked him "Why should I stick around and wait for you? What have I seen that ought to make me think the change is going to be real?" and he replied that he had been making changes to himself for several months (although not telling me about any of it) -- he had been taking better care of himself, being more active with the kids, not driving recklessly. And really he was right-- when I took a step back and looked at the whole picture of the few months leading up to his disclosure I could see what he was saying. It's just that by that time I was so angry and withdrawn and expected so little from him, that I had totally stopped asking or thinking about how fast he drove without the kids in the car, or whether or not his cell phone got shut off. It would have taken a very drastic change at that point for me to notice on my own.

He still had a long way to go but it taught me a good early lesson about how deeply his SA had affected him, and it helped me to focus and think practically about the future.

SAR


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#61943 - 05/27/06 02:11 PM Re: My story (long !)
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Dave did an excellent job of describing us guys with problems of sexual addiction. The thing is, in most cases we really do care about the important people in our lives. The problem comes in getting us to the place where we are willing to face up to our problem, call it what it is, and from there taking steps to correct our wrong thinking and behavior. Huge battle.

It sounds to me like your hubby is a great guy at heart, and wanting to take the necessary steps. With encouragement and support from you, as well as the boundary setting Larry spoke of, he will have the tools necessary for the road ahead.

I think you've discovered by now that the men here will be as loving and supportive of him as we are able.

Thanks for coming on and telling "your side". In a way, you are a victim of the perp that abused him also, and your story needs to be heard.

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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