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#63168 - 08/28/02 04:12 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
To answer just a small portion of this last post, let me say to you, Jab:

Yes, this did sudenly scome up for your husband, but, with proper love, care and therapy, the effects will diminish over time and may even subside completely.

Searching:
Wow...I think I will print out your post and give it to my wife. It is profound and beautiful and so encouraging, even with your disclaimers! Thank you , especially for putting into words what the reality of acting out is - a reliving of the abuse, either to claim power over it or because the abuse is imprinted. My experience was imprinted almost as deeply as the genetic sexual urge. WEhat a fucking bummer.

Just please remember, as I think you do (just being here shows sensitivity and interest), we are trying to do the best we can.

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#63169 - 08/28/02 05:39 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
searching Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 21
Thank you, Cement, it helps to know that maybe I'm on the right track.

And I do try my best to see that my husband (and all of you) is trying the very best he can. He says that to me sometimes--"Can you see how hard I'm working at this? Do you think I'd do all of this if I didn't care?"

We're all so wrapped up in wanting and needing our own things. What I've been trying to do, over time, is take the advice that I found in a wonderful book by Pema Chodron (a Buddhist nun--her book is called When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times). She says that, at the worst of times, we have to learn to "Lean into the sharp points." In other words, stop trying to escape from the pain, whether by denying it or acting out or using other addictions. Just learn to sit with it, and gradually learn to see that, like everything else, good or bad, it will eventually pass.

So, best to all others who are leaning in as best they can . . .

Lynda


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#63170 - 08/28/02 07:59 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Betrayal, that I understand completely.

I betrayed myself, my wife and those friends I hold dear to me.
And I still feel that I am doing it, every time I masturbate I feel it, when the fantasies creep in I feel it. And sometimes when tell a little white lie and say I'm better than I actually am I feel it.
But it lessens with time and effort. Nobody ever offered me a cure, much less an instant fix.

I felt very guilty, when my wife found and read my story. I had got into a pattern of Wed night therapy, Thurs night writing and Fri night talking. I couldn't talk after therapy, I needed time to sort out all the ideas, and writing was the way I did it ( still do ) well, it was Fri early evening when she found it. I think I would have told her what happened, but nobody needs the full details that I needed to excorcise through my writing.

She says she accepts it wasn't "me" that did it, but I couldn't begin to imagine how difficult it must be until I read what Lynda wrote

Quote:
I'm glad to hear that you feel more able to control some of the compulsive stuff that's held you prisoner for so long. I work hard to understand that my husband is not CHOOSING to have these thoughts, it's more like they are having him . . . although I won't deny that there are times that I just want it to stop!!!! I don't say that, I just quietly think it, and try to move on . . .
Do I detect a little white lie there Lynda ?
We all try desperately to protect one another, and it's the right thing to do I guess, it shows we care, it shows we are having responsible thoughts about our partners. So it works both ways, we all gain a little bit.
Sugar doesn't need to know exactly what I did with who and when, and I want to believe she's a tower of strength behind me. It's a huge act of trust for both of us, I have to trust that if she hides some of her feelings for my benefit she would eventually tell me if it got to much.

It's a hell of a fine line we walk, and it's getting wider for me by talking to partners who aren't mine, thanks girls.

Jab, you're right to think in years, and also lifetime, we can't make ourselves forget, we wish we could.
But a few years can see dramatic improvement, but it does take commitment. And I think you have that already.

It's going to be tough, and you have to look after yourself, because we're usually more concerned with our problems when we're in the thick of it. Bang goes affection and intimacy, welcome to forgotten birthdays and anniversaries, it was like that here anyway. I'm still having to make a concious effort to hold the hand of the woman I love when we're out walking !! It makes me mad.

If your husband hasn't yet acted out the chances are it's just a fantasy developed from the abuse.
he sounds just like me, but I kept my secret so long I made the fantasy happen.
As he works through it it'll become clearer to him, sooner rather than later with the right help and support.

You're obviously a lot younger than us if you're thinking about a family, something I denied us. Although we now realise it was my abusers that stopped me.
I never believed I was capable or trustworthy enough to be a father. I was terrified of repeating the cycle, although sex with - abusing -children NEVER entered any fantasies. But I didn't understand how it worked back then.
It's only now, when it's too late, that I know different.
And that's the biggest thing the bastards stole from me and Sugar.

Work at recovery, it's an achievable goal.

Lloydy

_________________________
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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#63171 - 08/30/02 10:44 AM Re: So many questions...need answers
searching Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 21
Lloydy, I kept thinking about what you wrote in your last post:

Quote:
We all try desperately to protect one another, and it's the right thing to do I guess, it shows we care, it shows we are having responsible thoughts about our partners. So it works both ways, we all gain a little bit.
Sugar doesn't need to know exactly what I did with who and when, and I want to believe she's a tower of strength behind me. It's a huge act of trust for both of us, I have to trust that if she hides some of her feelings for my benefit she would eventually tell me if it got to much.
Here's one tough thing that I deal with--I do try to tell my husband when it gets too difficult for me to deal with my feelings of betrayal, loss, and fear about possible behavior. But sometimes I hold back because I know he starts to feel "interrogated," and also I know sometimes that my curiosity is morbid, that I want to know but I don't REALLY want to know what he's thinking.

I wonder if there's a way for us to feel safe about this, without pushing it too far. I asked him once if we could have some kind of check-in on how things are going (that is, are his fantasies becoming overwhelming again, is he spiralling into the stress/shame/secret life cycle that wreaked so much havoc on us before) without him feeling like I'm shining a harsh light on everything in his psyche. We still haven't found the solution to this. I know he still struggles with on-line porn use, and he doesn't lie to me about it (or at least I don't think so). He tells me that he still sometimes loses the battle, visits the sites, and then feels like s**t about it. That is scary for me, but I try to be understanding and not shut down our communication.

I have been firm in saying that, if he acted out again, I would see that as the end of our marriage. That was a boundary that I had to set, because I couldn't go through that pain again.

Anyway, just more ramblings.

Lynda


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#63172 - 08/30/02 01:19 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Lynda
for sure the acting out has to be a boundary, it certainly is here. But I suppose some couples tolerate it if they feel it's worth it.
But it's too high a price for us. That's both of us, the boundary works for me too.
We need goals, and that was the first and biggest we set. Other goals might seem easier, not looking at porn is classic. But the "easier" part of it also applies to how easy it is to access, and at times the unseen hand that leads us is as persuasive in pulling us to a keyboard as it is in pulling us towards sex with strangers, but the logistics are a lot harder.

The communication between us - survivors & partners - is never going to be easy, we're scared shitless of saying too much and scaring you away, and I dont doubt you're as equally scared of asking too much and scaring us away, or back into our old ways.

Sugar and I have settled into a fairly regular routine of when we talk.
I hate talking to her about it in the house, our home. I look upon it as violating our precious space. I'll sit here and visit this site and others like it, I've sat here looking at porn - feeling guilty etc. But very rarely will I talk here, and almost never in any depth.

So on a Friday night ( tonight, I'm dressed and ready to go ) we go for a curry and a drink. And as I get towards the bottom of the bottle of St Emillion I talk, thankfully I dont have a problem with alcohol - just relaxing - so this loosens my tongue. Ok I've had strange looks off the waiters as I've cried in my curry, I have been asked if it was too hot !!
But it works for us, a kind of neutral territory, and we don't find it restricting surprisingly. The resteraunt has booths which are private and cosy.

It mighn't work for everyone, but maybe the neutral territory regular talk sets a pattern, it does for me. I like the certainty of the talking at that time, I have, we both have, time to think. And it doesnt leave me in constant fear of being pounced on.
Dont get me wrong, it isn't entirely rigid - we do talk at other times, more so now as I get better. And it was never planned this way, it just fell into this routine, now when we walk in the waiters just say "usual order sir ?"

We're off for our curry \:D

Lloydy

_________________________
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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#63173 - 09/01/02 02:14 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
WorriedFriend Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
Can I join in on this conversation? My head is spinning right now and I don't know where else to turn... it's really helped reading your threads...

I have been dating a guy for a few months... almost a year... he is wonderful, sweet, smart, sensitive, funny, kind, passionate... he has a good heart! He told me almost in the beginning that he was abused as a child by a male neighbor, and I don't think he has told anyone else... for *anyone* to have to go through this is awful, and for him to be such a decent person in spite of it is awesome... I don't know if I would have dealt with it as well... although he definitely has intimacy issues... a while back he stopped seeing me for 3 months, he felt it was going too fast, but never really gave me an explanation, just cut me off cold turkey... one of my thoughts was he was trying to protect me, and protect himself... but then he called me out of the blue... now he "doesn't want any commitments" but we talk lots, see each other lots, and he keeps saying stuff like "when you meet my dad..." or he'll say to the dog "you like her huh? you want her to come around more huh?" one thing I was told about survivors is "always believe them" and i do - i know he doesn't want a commitment and i also know he has deep feelings for me... as for me, i absolutely love him and am in love with him... i just don't tell him for fear of scaring him off again... and i actually enjoy finding ways of showing him i care...

it's weird though - it's almost like he picked someone who is "respectable" i am well educated, i am a social worker, i volunteer at the local animal shelter, i love to play scrabble, i come from a nice, intact, close-knit family -- i have this almost square "good girl" image which i guess isn't so off base, but i can also be very sexy and crazy... meanwhile he has this "bad boy" image, whereas in reality he is so sweet and decent and responsible... but i am very sexual - at least i thought i was! sex with him has always been pretty great, and pretty regular - 2 times a week... the thing is we aren't just casual sex friends... we care about each other *and* have excellent sex...

i'm hoping i can be a little graphic here? this is the latest... the other night we went out, got drunk, went to a sex store, and got a double sided dildo... we then went to a motel and used it on each other for 36 hours... i was kind of nervous about doing this with him, but he seemed to enjoy it... he says he's never done that before - but has done it to himself... but then he told me he wanted to have a 3some, but not what i thought: he wants to give a man oral sex, and have me watch... he said it's a power thing... i didn't flat out object, but i am not sure i could handle any kind of 3some... it took a lot for him to tell me this, and i did the best i could but boy i sure wasn't expecting that!

so i just don't know what to do now... we haven't really spoken about it yet... i love him and want to help him, even if it means not being with him... and i know what amount of trust it must have taken for us to do the anal sex and for him to tell me his other fantasies, and i don't want to make him regret telling me... it seems to me that the fantasies are fairly common... but that just as each abuse is unique so are the reactions and repercussions... but should i help him act them out his fantasies? or is that a slippery slope - where eventually he'll want to just be with men? am i being too codependent whatever that really means? he likes anal sex and wants to give a man a blow job?!?! is he gay? i don't see how that could be since he is so passionate with me... is he bi? i worry that he may be denying it all... but i compare myself to his parents who love him but weren't there to help him... am I someone who loves him but will let him be self-destructive? does he want me to be the one to hold him back? these past few days have been terrible - i can barely breathe or concentrate on anything ( i can't imagine what it's like for him!) and i just don't know i am up to the task before me... but i adore this guy and don't want to let him down... please help!


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#63174 - 09/01/02 04:43 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Wow, that's a lot to deal with on both sides of the equation. Congratulations on finding a partner with whom you share so much. That's great! Lucky for him, too, you sound like quite a woman. The combo of bad boy (but he's really sweet) and good girl (but she's a wild thing) sounds like the basis for some really great chemistry. Here are some thoughts I have.

I, too, am a social worker and I think most mental health professionals either now or in their past have had some problems with codependency. That whole "wounded healer" thing. So I urge you to remember what your needs are, maintain your boundaries, and to be his girlfriend not his social worker. As the survivor of traumatic experience(s) he will naturally have major difficulty with trust. The fact that he trusted you with some of his sexual stuff is a pretty good sign of how he feels about you. (36 hours?! Yikes.) Hard to say about the blow job thing. It might be just another expression of his broad ranging sexuality, could be acting out on imprinted sexual ideas or desire to regain control over the situation, or a subconcious desire to act out some repressed shame stuff. As for his being gay, I personally think its unlikely if you both enjoy hot sex together that feels mutually satisfying. As a gay man myself, I know that many gay man can function sexually with a woman, but the key word here is function. If he were just performing to prove something to you or himself I think you could tell intuitively something was missing. Sounds like your sex has that elusive chemical element that means you are both fully present. He may be bisexual to some degree but aren't most people when you get right down to it?

If I were you, which I know I'm not \:\) , I would be cautious but open minded when it comes to indulging in sexual fantasies. Some things are better left as fantasies, others are great when explored. Sometimes you just have to try it and see. Be careful not to go against your better judgement out of sympathy for him or because you are afraid of losing him. Also, I would feel more comfortable about it if I knew he had explored these issues in a therapeutic setting so he's clear on the difference between sexual desire and sexual acting out.

Lastly, don't be afraid to have real open honest discussions about this stuff. Or to have conflict about it. He is definitely taking risks with you, maybe more than he has with anyone, so that says a lot. He may need some reassurance that you're not freaked out and getting ready to run away screaming. Sounds like you guys have good communication so just talk about it. Having a conversation about something is almost always better than not. And be patient about commitment. Men generally take longer than women to get there and he might take longer than other men due to trust factors. It sounds like things are proceeding nicely. Hope this helps.

36 hours, huh? You straight people are so sexual and everything! ;\)


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#63175 - 09/01/02 06:48 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Worried Friend
I recognise a lot of what you say about your feller. The fantasy stuff is exactly what I dreamed of, right from the time my abuse stopped at 15 yo until today at 49 yo.
the difference being he's actually saying this stuff to you while he's still young, I said nothing to anyone until I was 46 and been married for 25 years !
In the first years of our marriage I was very sexual, but it faded away big time ( my fault entirely ) as the fantasies took over until I acted out with other men.

I agree with Roy, I doubt very much that he's gay, I'm sure you would have had deep suspicions before now, so the alternatives are bisexual or acting out. Many of us thought we were bi, it's very close to acting out, but I think there is a difference. I believe that gay, bi or hetero sex is normally based on attraction to the other person, not solely on sex - or lust.
And given an abused background I'd go with acting out which brings with it loads of guilt and shame, but I'm no expert or therapist.

I personally would be extremelly cautious about joining in, you could end up deeply hurt.
And he could also, the guilt and shame could be massive.

If you think he's the one for you I'd steer him towards getting help for any abuse problems he might have, a good therapist and support from someone who loves him would be a good start.

Take care
Lloydy

_________________________
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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#63176 - 09/01/02 09:28 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
WorriedFriend Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 7
Loc: New Jersey
I can't tell you how helpful this website has been... and i absolutely appreciate your comments... Roy when I read your comments I smiled for the first time in days! I honestly didn't mean to brag about our 36 hours, but it is true - we got maybe 5 hours sleep over 2 nights, no food, and even though it was totally new and scary to me, it was definitely fun! (Would it be OK to send you a private message, Roy? I have some logistical questions about what i was actually doing...) And you're right about the wounded healer... I definitely want to save him - but I know I can't... it's almost as if I want to be the one decent thing in his life (he's had other terrible things happen to him, including the death of his young child) and when I tell you this guy has a heart of gold, I'm not lying! Of course he keeps telling me he's not special... I've told him he should be in therapy, but I am not sure that will ever happen... Lloydy, I have read many of your postings and I have found you to be very honest and sensitive and to the point... so I was thrilled when you responded to me! Although I should tell you that my guy isn't a spring chicken - he is in his early 40's, and to my knowledge has never revealed this to anyone else... He even has to see this guy sometimes cause his parents still live nearby! Sometimes it is so overwhelming to me - that this happens and to such a degree! I guess I have lived such a sheltered life and feel very lucky/guilty for that... the sad thing is, I don't see much support out there for male survivors - even with all this with the Catholic Church - there isn't much said about the survivors and what is being done (other than monetarily) to support them... I had to really search to find this website! again, thanks...


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#63177 - 09/02/02 12:47 PM Re: So many questions...need answers
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Worried Friend
Well if he's early 40's the chances are he's acting out, we tend to work our way up to it as time goes on, so although he might still have issues and comfusion about being gay or bi I would doubt it.

But if he's finding a release for his fantasy and acting out with a partner who's willing to be adventurous then maybe the problem is a whole lot less.
I would say to you be very aware of where his problems lie, where they come from. Watch out for guilt and shame, we can still feel it when having sex with someone we love, even "normal" ( whatever the hell that is ? )sex, so throw in some fantasy stuff, especially involving someone else, and it might become a huge problem for him.
The guilt of asking you, someone he loves, to participate in a fantasy thats evolved from something that traumatised him could be huge.

I suppose lots of people have "different" sex lives, and many do so succesfully, but the emotional risks are bound to be higher.
Maybe the rest of us should get out more... ;\)

I wouldn't let him forget his past, or the chance of dealing with it. There must be resources around N.J. somewhere, but don't push him into what he doesn't want to do. When he's ready he'll do it.

Be cool Friend
Lloydy

PS. logistics ??????? \:o \:o

_________________________
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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