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#62100 - 06/05/06 11:41 PM How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
Hello again!
So I talked to my husband more again this weekend and would like your input if possible.
I asked him if he would please come to this website and he said he didn't want to. The reason he didn't want to is because he didn't want to bring the emotion/feelings into our house.
He said that he really regrets telling me that he was abused. He states now when he comes home the first feeling he has is anxiety. He has anxiety because I am the only one who knows. He is constantly anxious that I am going to make him talk about the problems that we are having. He feels anxious arround me most of the time. He states maybe in the short term he would be happier with me not being arround because I am a constant reminder of the problem. As you can immagine that doesn't make me feel very good. I know I didn't do anything wrong but it makes me very sad knowing that he would be happier with me not arround.
I told my husband he has to deal with this problem. He told me he didn't know what I meant he "deals" with it every day.
What do I do? I like to "fix" things. I know I can't "fix" this. But I feel like just being arround him is making it worse!!!


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#62101 - 06/06/06 12:16 AM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
Rabbit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 91
Loc: San Francisco
I'm no psychologist, but...

He's not ready to deal with his sexual abuse, to talk about it. He took a huge step telling you about it. Acknowledge that and tell him that he is in control of when he talks about it. He is just awakening from the slumber of denial or shock.

When he was a victim, he did not have control over his body, his abuser took that away. This loss of control produces a lot of anxiety. Fast forward to today, he's shared his deepest secret and it may feel as though he has lost control over this too. It resonates with the abuse. You both must work to disconnect this loop and you have to be strong enough to trust him to talk to you or a therapist or come here and chat on his schedule, at his ease.

He's lucky to have someone who cares about him. He may know that, but he may be too scared right now to acknowledge it.

Just my two cents...

_________________________
Your love should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger

Only to someone who has the valor and daring to cut pieces of their soul off with a knife then weave them into a blanket to protect you

There are different wells within us, some fill with each good rain

Others are far, far too deep for that

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#62102 - 06/06/06 01:44 AM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
ginny1210 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/01/06
Posts: 25
Weepy Wife,

I can totally relate to your situation. My husband moves out a month and a half ago. We talked today. He said that his T told him he has to make a choice. He has to choose to forgive and make a happy life for himself and try and save the marriage; or not forgive and llive the rest of his life the way he has been. He is the same way with me. He gets upset and anxious when he talks to me. He says he has hurt me so much and it makes him angry. But yet I know he is seeing other women. I know he is acting out. I told him t hat I hade made an appt. to get tested for STD's. He claims that if anything comes out it is because I was unfaithful to him 15 years ago. So I guess it is my fault. I feel the same way you do; that he does not want to be around me and it hurts.

Hang in there!
Ginny


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#62103 - 06/06/06 01:49 AM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Even years after my partner disclosed to me, he would remark about how sometimes it still scared him to think about how the abuse wasn't a secret anymore. Think about it-- in terms of how long he's kept the secret. It will take a long time to get used to.

The person he told about the abuse, is the person you were *before* you knew about it. Whatever the two of you did together that made him feel happy and safe, that's all you need to be right now.

It was important for me to learn and ask a lot of questions right after I found out too, because that's how I deal with things-- but I had to accept and trust that his way of dealing with things was okay for him too.

Just the fact that he told you is a HUGE step and an adjustment in the way that he "deals with" the abuse. And in the long run, what he will probably appreciate from you the most isn't your attempts to help him deal or fix it-- he'll appreciate that you listened to him and trusted his feelings.

SAR


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#62104 - 06/06/06 01:57 AM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Hi and a belated welcome. I read your first post and all of the responses you received, which, as usual, are dead on. \:\) I've got nothing substantive to add to what others have already said.

As for this post though, I do have a suggestion. Drop it. Boy is that hard 'cause the information you now have is running through your mind just as much as it is through your husband's mind. But he's not ready to deal and that fact alone makes it impossible for you. You can deal with your own feelings by coming here, reading books or seeing a therapist of your own, but you can't really do anything for him as far as his recovery goes because he doesn't want to....yet.

The fact that your husband is acutely aware that there is a problem will hopefully make him want to seek help, but no one can know when that will be. He is the only one in control of that.

So, you need to leave it alone and get on with your lives. Be the woman he married, the friend he desperately needs. You can't be his lover in a sexual sense, but you can certainly be his lover and friend on an emotional level.

I haven't experienced the lack of sexual intimacy, but I have and I'm sure every single s/o here has experienced the very difficult task of having to fight within ourselves not to let the abuse our loved one suffered overtake everything in our lives to the detriment of living. At first, it seemed like every time we were alone, we had a deep, dark conversation, sometime started by me, most times by him. It never ended well because we were both so emotionally drained.

After several months, I realized that I had to do exactly what my b/f has asked me multiple times to do - just be me. I needed to stop letting abuse overwhelm me; I needed to stop him - to a degree - from making me his "secondary" therapist.

All of this is a lot easier said than done. I tried to do it on my own without much success. I finally had a few sessions with a therapist of my own who is experienced in csa and she helped me tremendously. Just to know that I had someone 100% in my corner was priceless. Also, although she was on my side, she wasn't "against" my b/f as a friend or family member might be.

Your husband is full of anxiety for so many reasons, not the least of which is worry about you and what his revelation is doing to you and your feelings for him. Try finding things for the two of you to do together that are just easy. Avoid anything heavy, if you can, for at least a few weeks and just be a couple. Thereís no doubt that you need to discuss and work on many things that have to do with your marriage, youíre both in it, not just him. But if you can, let him adjust to the fact that even though heís made you aware of his deepest most frightening secret, youíre still the woman who loves him and youíre not going anywhere.

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

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

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#62105 - 06/06/06 02:00 AM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

*lol* Looks like we posted almost the same thing at the same time but I use more words - gotta work on that.

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

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

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#62106 - 06/06/06 03:28 AM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
It's not you being wordy, Trish, it's the rest of my life calling me away from the keyboard... \:\) or we'd both have novels here. -S


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#62107 - 06/06/06 12:33 PM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
Thanks again for the advice.

One problem I have is that I will drop it for a couple of weeks or a month. (I guess this has been going on for 9-10 months) Then I feel like I need to check in on him and see what is going on...because he tells me nothing. I also feel like I need to vent to him how I am feeling after a while.
I have many strengths. Unfortunatly, one of them is not patience. I am working on it but I wish I knew how long I had to be patient. I guess the other thing I have to work on is faith and trust in my husband. He is so smart, compassionate, kind, and funny. He is a great person...dealing with an awful problem


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#62108 - 06/06/06 05:03 PM Re: How do I support him when being arround me makes him anxious?
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I totally get where you're coming from on the patience thing. I'm much better at it than I used to be, but instant gratification is way better. Unfortunately, in this regard at least, you are the one who has the work to do. You'll require buckets and buckets or patience and then you'll have to call in for more when they run out. I wish I could tell you differently, but that would be a lie.

If you've been backing off and then checking in, maybe it's the discussion topics or that too much frustration has built up to make your conversations productive. You've said that neither one of your are really open to a therapist which is sad because it's the only thing I can think of. It sounds like your both bashing your heads against a stone wall and getting nothing more than a bad headache.

If your husband isn't ready to deal with the csa, you can both still deal with your marriage. It's very difficult to separate the two because his behaviors are directly affected by what happened, but it CAN be done with a skilled therapist. Heck if you just make an appointment with a marriage counselor, he/she doesn't need to know anything more than what you and your husband tell him/her. I really believe that a little bit of guidance for both of you on how to communicate with one another without getting the otherís hackles up will go a long, long way in strengthening your relationship and if that happens, maybe it will give him the courage to take the next step in his recovery.

The idea of therapy is really difficult for some people, but all it really is, is a place to learn how to better your lives and relationships. While we all grow up, not all of us have the teachers necessary to teach us how to deal if something out of the ordinary comes our way and if you never learned in the first place, how are you supposed to deal? A therapist can teach you and give you the tools to move forward.

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

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

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