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#62393 - 10/11/01 08:04 AM Need some encouragement
lovemyhusband Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 23
Feeling pretty low today. Hoping that someone out there can give me a glimmer of hope that I will not lose my husband over this. Does this EVER get better for survivors? Im tired of being depressed and I dont see light at the end of the tunnel yet. Please shine for me!!!!
Thanks all, LMH


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#62394 - 10/11/01 04:29 PM Re: Need some encouragement
Just Call me J Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
Does it get better? I think that it does.

Does it go away? No. And I think that believing that it will just magically disappear if we work at it long enough will be detrimental to healing.

The model I have used to help me understand how to deal with my abuse comes from grief. I have learned many lessons about life, and about relationships, through the many people I have lost in my lifetime (the last 5 years showing the greatest concentration). When it comes to death, there is no way to undo the absence of a loved one. Just as there is no way to change the past abuse in our lives.

What we CAN change is our response to people in our lives, and toward our circumstances. The past is written in stone, but the future is wide open! And we only get to the future, by living in the moment. By making choices now.

The TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" had one of its most powerful episodes about 3 years ago, when one of the series regulars (Ms. Calendar) was killed by another of the series regulars (Angel, the newly-evil vampire boyfriend of Buffy). The characters on the show worked through their loss in a very real, and honest way, as was befitting each character (anger for some, denial for others, bargaining... it was the full gamut of grief responses).

I don't know why I chose to talk about a TV show, except that it mirrored my feelings so well, when I saw it. Therefore, the association will always be there.

The hardest part of grief recovery (I think), is the fact that you actually have to FACE the pain. You can't heal from it, if you don't really and truly acknowledge it. And that means allowing yourself (and sometimes forcing yourself) to exist in that place of pain, so you can emerge from it, purged and stronger.

Our lives DO go on. Things DO change. You will stay in the emotional place you are in, until it is no longer helpful to you. Pain is not a bad thing, per se. It is an indicator of what is broken. Use your pain to find out how to understand yourself better, and possibly to fix those things inside you that aren't useful anymore.

I don't know if any of this is helpful to you right now. I can only speak the truth, as I see it. Take care of yourself, LMH. All of us at NOMSV are here to support you.

We're in this together.

Jeremy

_________________________
We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

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#62395 - 10/12/01 11:11 AM Re: Need some encouragement
lovemyhusband Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 23
It never ceases to amaze me how this single act of perversion affects a human beings ENTIRE life. And not only THEIR life, but every other person in the world that even gets close to these men. One of the saddest things is that these men have absoloutely no idea how wonderful they truly are. I know my husband does not. I too would like to go back to a time when this issue did not exist, but then I would not have my husband and for him I am willing to fight the good fight. LMH


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#62396 - 10/12/01 12:28 PM Re: Need some encouragement
Just Call me J Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
Wow.

LMH, that is a very powerful statement you just made. It is born out of True Love. Not of the Princess Bride variety, but the Casablanca variety.

LMH, I've said this before, but I'll say it again. Your husband is so incredibly lucky to have you in his life.

It looks to me like you found your light...

Jeremy

_________________________
We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

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#62397 - 10/25/01 08:54 AM Re: Need some encouragement
lovemyhusband Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 23
Hello J
I am willing to fight the good fight for my husband, but sometimes I wonder, is he willing to fight for me? Sometimes I think he truly expects me to walk out the door at any second and so what is the use in fighting at all? For me or himself.
Feeling low today, no happy thoughts to share.
LMH


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#62398 - 10/25/01 10:34 PM Re: Need some encouragement
Anonymous
Unregistered


LMH,

Sorry this hasn't been a good day; hopefully tomorrow will be brighter.

At the risk of coming across as minimizing all of the hard work and patience you have invested in your relationship with your husband, do try to be gentle with yourself. Both you and your husband have dealt with/are dealing with a lot. No quick fixes, to be sure.

The fact that you can see the wonderful parts of your husband - and acknowledge that he may not see or believe them - is so encouraging and inspiring to me, personally. I suspect that you're both doing the best that you can (and of course, as with almost every couples, the affect on each of you is different...the mars/venus thing!).

I know from your post that this has been a period of being discourged, but when I step back and think about it, you have both come a LONG way together. Chill...and enjoy your successes.

Don


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#62399 - 10/26/01 07:03 AM Re: Need some encouragement
lovemyhusband Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 23
Don,
Thank you for your kind words. It seems that when I start to feel good I find some evidence that he has been looking at men on the net and fall back into my depression. I dont know how to take this or what to think other than he would rather that than me. Is he trying to send me a subtle message? LMH

[ October 26, 2001: Message edited by: lovemyhusband ]


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#62400 - 10/26/01 09:35 PM Re: Need some encouragement
Anonymous
Unregistered


LMH,

I know that this must be tearing you apart inside, and I wish that my words could somehow make this awful feeling go away. I think you would be atypical if you didn't somehow feel that your husband were seeking out men and, as a result, rejecting you.

Unfortunately, this is not how it is. Your husband's preoccupation with looking at other men is NOT ABOUT YOU. In fact, it's not even about sex. Because of his childhood sexual abuse, he is battling a lifelong identity crisis. When boys are sexually abused, they often dissociate--even if they derived some pleasure from the experiences. (In fact, the elements of pleasure and secrecy ratchet things up a couple of notches.)

Sexual abuse is about power and control. Boys who are sexually abused suffer powerlessness; I suspect in the way that women who are raped experience it. Often victims spend the rest of their lives trying to win back power and control for themselves.

When male victims of SA become preoccupied with men (and the male physique), they are trying (in their own explicable way) to recapture their sexual identity, often longing to look like or "be" the attractive, macho have-it-all-together man that they feel (or have felt) incapable of being. I know what this is like....this is my story. More than anything in the world, we want to look - and be - "normal." The trouble is, we had that opportunity stolen from us the second we were molested, and most of us spend the rest of our lives desperately seeking acceptance and trying to find our place in this crazy world.

I realize that this may be difficult to relate to or even understand. In fact, I have only recently begun to understand this for myself. What your husband is experiencing (and what you are struggling to understand) is really not about wanting men instead of you. He doesn't really want to sleep with other guys. He is in search of the "guyness" within--and he doesn't know how to find it. At some level (and I don't expect that you will necessarily understand this), he is hoping that this male part of himself will jump off the page or from a web site...making him whole.

The double whammy (and I struggle with this continually) is, of course, that no pornography, no web site, and no stolen looks at other guys can, as I sometimes say, "put Humpty together again."

From the things that you have written, my belief is that your husband wants more than anything in the world to be "normal," to be perceived as the in-control, desirable male that he is has been so frantically longing to become.

For better or worse, you have chosen to love a man whose attention and energies are split. From your previous posts, I recall that you say he is a good person with many wonderful attributes. He is probably working overtime to try to love you and meet all of his responsibilities in this committed relationship while trying to manage the inner conflict that I have described above. I can tell that you love him very much, and I have interpreted your own inner conflict as frustrating, and, perhaps, fearful.

My bet is that your husband is not planning to leave you...and, in fact, it is probably his biggest fear that you would leave him. But you have a history together, and my sense is that you don't really want to give that up.

The challenge that I am facing in my own life is learning how to live with my demons and to balance and enjoy my wonderful wife and kids....all of whom I love very much. I have been struggling with this stuff for all of my life...and I have only (in the last few months) begun to understand what's really underlying all of these feelings, fantasies, longings, and disappointments. I've already come to grips with the fact that (at age 53) I'm not going to "fix" this (whatever "this" is!), that my longing to be "normal" is a wish that will go unfulfilled, and that my best shot at happiness is to make peace with myself.

One thing that you may wish to consider is printing out this post and sharing it with your husband. If he is struggling with what I think he is struggling with, he can probably identify with much of what I've written here. And part of the healing process for those of us who are victims of sexual abuse is when we finally realize that we are not alone with these feelings of inner turmoil and disconnectedness.

I encourage you to focus on the things in your marriage that are working and on those characteristics that your husband possesses that were attractive to you in the first place. As a psychologist once said to my wife and me, "It's no accident that you found one another." My sense is that you are in each other's lives because you have wonderful gifts and lessons to share with one another. Focus on those and see if you can put these other feelings of inadequacy in the background (and keep saying to yourself, "It's not about me....It's not about me...."

I know that I have rambled on and on here; I only hope that at least some of it makes sense.

Good luck...and welcome to the club.

Don


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