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#63265 - 12/08/04 03:39 PM help me help him
sandylee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Atlanta, GA
My fiance admitted that he might be a sex addict and agreed to get help to keep our relationship. We are together almost 24/7, and iI am constantly trying to reassure him he can trust me, since he never wants to be apart, I thought that was the issue. Come to find out, he is afraid of being apart because he will hurt me - he has overwhelming sexual thought to the point that when I went out of town recently, he hired a prostitute. The only real problems we have had stem from his cheating, or lying about cheating, and I know he cares about me, and sex to him with anyone else is solely sex. But I am getting way into that issue and off my point. the bottom line is that he asked me to stay with him if he got help. In trying to research sex addiction, I came across a "self test" online, and I was asking him the questions, and one was "were you sexually abused as a child". I assumed no, and was ready to go on to the next question, but the look on his face was so strange, that we started to talk about it. It turns out that when he was 8 years old, his 15 year old brother convinced him to allow him to have anal intercourse with him. He wasn't sure if that was abuse, since he didn't use violence and had gotten him to agree to it. I tried to tell him that it was rape, that an 8 year old can't agree to something like that. In 25 years, he has NEVER spoke of it, and if he wasn't so afraid of losing me because of the other problems, I don't think he would have told me. He was quick to point out that he wasn't gay and had never had any other experiences with men. And he made excuses for his brother, about how he was just horny, how it didn't hurt, how he had gotten an erection, etc. He was ready to admit to the sexual addiction, and get help, but I think this was pandora's box. It explains SO MUCH about him, including the sexual addiction. He wants to get help to not lose me, but he is very uncomfortable talking about this and doesn't want to make a big deal about it, but I think has shaped him in so many ways, and it needs to be dealt with. I love him, and I don't know what to do to help him. There are so many resources online, it has gotten overwhelming and confusing. He is a veteran, and has made an appointment with a VA mental health counselor. I want to tell him it is all going to be okay, to make him understand that he didn't do anything wrong, that he was victimized and not alone, but I am afraid to say the wrong thing, and it seems so painful for him to talk about. He loves his brother, who he really doesn't have much of a relationship with him, is an alcoholic, and has obviously problems. He does not want to tell anyone but me and the therapist. I just feel very helpless, and need some guidance. He doesn't get anything done without me holding his hand to do it (literally - we have even started to work together). I am very take charge, codependant, and take care of everyone. If I could do this all for him, beleive me I would. But I can't. What is the best way for me to help him? Any resources including books, websies, support groups, etc yo ucan recommend that would help, as well as what I should do or not do for him would be greatly appreciated.

_________________________
Sandy

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#63266 - 12/08/04 11:05 PM Re: help me help him
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm going to be direct with you here, please understand I'm not trying to be harsh, just honest.
Quote:
He doesn't get anything done without me holding his hand to do it (literally - we have even started to work together). I am very take charge, codependant, and take care of everyone. If I could do this all for him, beleive me I would. But I can't.
You can't do ANY of it for him. He has to do it all himself, and he has to want to do it. Even if you're not thrilled with the decisions he makes, the abuse happened to him, and what he does now needs to be his choice. (By the way, what he does when you're out of town is his choice too, and it is unfair of him to make you responsible for his addiction by implying that your presence 24/7 is the difference between his acting out or not. The difference is in his own state of mind.)

The most important part of supporting a survivor is reassuring him that you are on his side, if you betray his trust now by forcing him to disclose to others, or by putting him through something that he tells you is painful and uncomfortable, how can he feel that you are on his side?

It is okay for him to not want to do anything about it right away. He needs some time and space to recover from breaking his silence. My boyfriend didn't even look for a therapist until months after he disclosed to me, I still saw him improve bit by bit every day. That's not too bad, for a problem that was years in the making.

Take care of yourself, read and ask all you want here. Just because he needs time, doesn't mean that you don't need your own space and support right now. Learning everything I could made all the difference to me in the beginning, it helped me to feel a bit more powerful and optimistic.

SAR


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#63267 - 12/09/04 07:30 AM Re: help me help him
sandylee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I appreciate your response, and I totally understand. I KNOW I am the queen of codependent, and do not want to be that way. He admitted to me about the sexual addiction, and wanting help. I would actually like some time alone every once in a while - he uses the time 24/7 with me to keep him from "acting out" because he feels so depressed and worthless afterwards. I thought it was because he didn't trust me, but believe me - it is not my idea. I think everyone needs time away from their signficant other to have a healthy relationship. I am not as worried about what happens without me there as he is. I did not even realize he was a sex addict until he told me and told me he thought it was a reason for the failure of his marriage, and he didn't want to continue the same distructive patterns, because he knew he would lose me one day as well if he continued to lie. I did not give him some kind of ultimatum or even bring up getting help at all. I have in the past caught him lying to me, and bottom line is the truth, no matter how bad, is better than a lie. I don't want to spend my life with someone who continually lies, and he wants me to marry him.

It was the questions from the sex addict web page that prompted the admission about the incest. I just felt so bad for him, and yes, I wish I could fix it and take the pain away - but I know very well that I can't. I can only love him and believe in him, be there when he wants to talk or needs a shoulder and try to understand. It explains SO MUCH about him.

He wants help with the sexual addiction, and asked me to help him find out where to go - like meetings, therapist, and books he could read. He is looking at me with those beautiful eyes and saying, help me find help -do I just say no, you have to find it on your own (he is dsylexic, so he hates typing on the computer). The idea of getting help was his, and I told him that researching online for the "how to's" of getting help was most I could do, beside just continuing to love him. Since my post, I have found a sex-aholics meeting, and got him the number to make an appointment with the therapist. I am wrong to be doing this for him?

But I cerainly see your point about the incest - I need to let him decide what he works on with the therapist and not push that issue. He wants to working on sex addiction, and hopefully, he will find a way to heal more than the symptoms, but the problem itself.

Thanks again for the advice. I will be seeking out some kind of support group for myself.

_________________________
Sandy

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#63268 - 12/09/04 11:08 PM Re: help me help him
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Sandy
Firstly let me answer the question -

Quote:
Since my post, I have found a sex-aholics meeting, and got him the number to make an appointment with the therapist. I am wrong to be doing this for him?
No, you aren't wrong to find the numbers and resources, as long as he makes the choice to use them.
Doing the detail does help, it shows you care enough to 'find out', which you're doing by coming here and asking questions.
But the actual 'work' is ours, although support, love and encouragement are always appreciated.
We might not tell you how much we appreciate it, but we do.

From what you say you seem to be doing ok, being pushed into something seems to remind us of the 'abuse of power' that happened to us. And his older brother did use his age and authority to abuse your boyfriend.

Sex addiction is a common thing in abuse Survivors, and as you've probably realised it has nothing to do with a string of supermodels lining up at the bedside.
It's thinking about sex in every available moment, we sexualize every conversation ( in our minds ) and every interaction we have with someone.
If we buy a newspaper we wonder if the girl serving us is wearing a particuar type of underwear, did she do a particualar sex act last night with her boyriend? and on it goes, it's relentless.

Can we do anything about it? yes, many of the guys here have it under control. OK, it's hard and we do slip. But the slips tend to not result in acting out.

My personal view is that the sex addiction should be dealt with as a part of the abuse, the whole of our lives are intermingled with the causes and effects that make us who we are.
Questions such as "how and why did my brother abuse me?" go back beyond the actual time of the act, beyond the brother. And if we figure out OUR answers to ALL these difficult questions then the jigsaw begins to make sense, a picture appears.
We might not like the picture, but it's the only one we've got.

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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#63269 - 12/10/04 05:49 PM Re: help me help him
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
SAR, I have to say, you're response to this topic is really inspiring. You really do know, what goes on. And to you Dave, that is exactly it! You both hit the nail right on the head. Sorry about the pun,

take care,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#63270 - 12/11/04 09:09 AM Re: help me help him
guy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 236
Loc: nc
wow, i like the honesty and openness.

for me the addiction or acting out was recreating the naughtiness or nastyness of my abuse.

i stilll loved my partner intently, dearly. had nothing to do with her, it was me.

i think a great thing is the admittance of the addiction and seeing a counselor separately and togehteer to discuss it.

it will take a stong womna to accept all, a truly in love oman, ssome may notmake it whenit is"all out on the table".

it has happened to me. i long for a woman strong enough to knoww y all. just haven't quite found it and no offense madententinall to my wonderful ex wives and g/f's/

take care, guy


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#63271 - 12/11/04 05:05 PM Re: help me help him
Enchantedlady Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 35
I found out in April about my husband being abused and in July is when we started going to counseling. I go with him but recently he went on his own. I've found many articles for us to read.

Through the articles and talking to some here I've learned just how much the abuse has effected my H. He has a hard time knowing that I really do love him and I care about what happens to him. He never had that before so he was doing things to push me away.

My h is one that won't try for fear of failing. One thing that has helped him is the fact that there are 3 children in this house that he's having to tell YOU CAN DO IT. He's learning through our parenting. It's an awesome thing that he's finally learning different emotions and recongnizing them (amoung other things).

I've had to remind him that I can't fix his life only he can. I told him I will be there to listen, to help, etc but not doing the work. I really think the more confidence he has the more he'll go.
He's starting to take control of his life not be a spectator.

There are many wonderful people on here that have really great advice and stories. Keep reading and doing what you need to do to understand. In the middle of everything going on don't forget yourself, take good care of yourself.

_________________________
Namaste
The Spirit in me meets the same Spirit in you'

Hebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you

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#63272 - 12/11/04 07:25 PM Re: help me help him
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Sandy, you said
Quote:
(he is dyslexic, so he hates typing on the computer)
I would like to introduce you and him to my little friend. Ispell, it is a free for personal use, spelling checker for the IE browser. http://www.iespell.com/index.htm It will work on most web pages that have a form to fill in, or for message writing. I don't know if I am dyslexic, I do know that I can't spell. If I did not have my little friend I would not be writing here or anywhere on the net.

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#63273 - 12/19/04 08:48 PM Re: help me help him
sandylee Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 11
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Thank you all for you responses and support. I know he has to do this for himself, and he has just started therapy. He has been honest with me about everything, I mean everything (more than I wanted to hear) and I told him I will stand by him if he wants to get help, but I will leave him if he ever lies again. The truth, no matter how painful, shows respect and is better than a lie. I told him if he "acts out" he needs to tell me - no the details, just no more lies. I think he sees that I love him more than anyone else ever has, but I have another question I have posted under the topic Desperate for advice. Please help me figure this out!

_________________________
Sandy

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