Newest Members
mossTI, E35, 1975, Lucy, StacyR
12337 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Who's Online
3 registered (gatoonfanatic, 2 invisible), 15 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12337 Members
74 Forums
63423 Topics
443384 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#64289 - 08/27/06 06:18 PM WHEW-think it went ok overall
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Ok, last night my husband came home from work around 8:30. Our daughter was already in bed so I felt it was as good an opportunity as ever. I don't know if I said too much, or too little, but I did the best I could under my own nervousness.

First I asked him if he had read his email. He still hadn't, so I had printed one of them to show him, just in case. The one I printed is this, and he read it through without a peep; it held his attention:

I am very ambivalent about my emotions. I can feel very strongly about something and then abruptly change how I feel. I do not trust my feelings and I do not trust others feelings either. I can deal with a person being angry with me. It hurts and confuses me. But I am able to accept their anger. I cannot accept love. I can allow myself to accept that people like me. Usually, because I have done good for them. I cannot accept or trust that anyone loves me. I hate to hear those words said to me. I know that they are always a lie. I work hard to learn to accept love, to trust people feeling warm towards me. But the fact is, I am fearful when that happens, I just can’t trust it. I try not to let myself respond by accepting and trusting their love. No one is going to break my heart! I have built a strong wall around it. Only children and young people have pierced it. And then only for the time that they are “safe” kids and youth. After the child grows up they cannot pierce that wall anymore. I will not allow it. At the same time, I easily come to love people. I can feel honest affection for a person I have never actually met. Love can be given—but I feel I would be a fool to think I could really trust that any one would love me for me. Even the thought of that seems really dangerous to me.

Ok, so after he read it I said, "Do you ever feel that way?" He smiled a little sarcastically and said, "I don't know!" I think he's just so fed up feeling that way, honestly, but doesn't want to admit to anything. I said, "Ok, sit down, I want to talk to you for just a second. I've been doing a lot of research, and I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but I may have found a reason why you're feeling the way you do. Take a look at this," and I handed him the list of secondary symptoms of people who had been abused sexually as a child. He saw the title, and did not read further (as I kind of expected) and smiled again sarcastically.

I said, "Ok, let me just tell you, I have found a website where almost 4,000 men -- all of them are men -- post and they've ALL been sexually abused, and their posts are exactly how you feel, and their wives feel the same way I do, it's astounding. I just want you to know you are not alone, ...I've read three books and done all this research... and if you ever want to just go and lurk, here's the link..."

He said something like, "Ok, are you done? I've got to change clothes."

I said, "No, hear me out just for a second. You know that I love you."

Him: "I know."

Me: "And you would do the same thing for me if I was hurting, right?" (research, try to help)

Him: "No, I wouldn't."

Me: "Well, you should. (smile)

Him: "Why can't we just leave things like they are?" (Meaning, no sex, no imtimacy, friends instead of spouses, him feeling worthless inside)

Me: "Because I don't want to. This thing that happened, it may very well be all connected to your current problems; it goes right to the issue of trust; it affects people; and it's NEVER the kid's fault. Just promise me you'll go on that site sometime, in the next 6 months or year, and just lurk, see what you think."

Him: "I don't have to promise anything." (Not wanting to be controlled, understandably)

Me: "Well, there it is, and I printed some posts from it if you don't want to look at it online, it's all there in that desk drawer. That's all."

I wish I would have only handed him the link and that's all, but I also wish I would have also said that the horrible feelings of worthlessness and guilt and shame he's been carrying around with him do NOT belong there. I wish he would have read the sypmtoms too. But at least he read that one post and maybe it made something very small go 'click' somewhere deep inside.

I guess it went well in that he didn't argue about whether the csa happened or argue that there's no way it was a big deal. But I hope I didn't push too hard etiher. But we sat and watched a sci-fi movie afterward; he made time to take our daughter out for pancakes this morning; and he kissed me on the cheek this morning before he went to work. So at least whatever I said didn't create any animosity in him toward me.

What do you all think? Was I terrible? I have no idea if he'll ever look at the link, but honestly I think he's never ever thought of his csa as having anything to do w/ his issues.

I also can see that he's never gotten angry or sad about his csa. It's just been there and he's ignored it.

He works, works, works, and then I go out of town Thurs. to my parents. I help take care of them now and then since my dear mom is in early stages of Alzheimer's at age 70, and my dad had a massive stroke the day before Easter. So I am also aware that in addition to facing losing my parents prematurely (at least my mom), I also am facing this horrible csa crap of my husband's and hope I do not lose him eventually also.

Thanks for listening, if he heard anything I said, I hope he heard "you're not alone" and "it's never the kid's fault."

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

Top
#64290 - 08/27/06 06:33 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I've been following your conversations on this forum and just want to send you a big, safe cyber-hug.

{{{{{{{{Brokenhearted}}}}}}}}

I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as the days go by. You are an incredibly brave woman and you have my admiration.

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

Top
#64291 - 08/27/06 06:50 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
ask him if he feels alone,even when hes with people,even people who love him ,i dont mean if he feels alone because of the abuse ,but just alone like there is this great big world but hes not a part of it ,i got so used to being alone that i dont know how not to be .its a different kind of alone hard to describe ,its like the whole planet full of people just disappeared and your the only one left.no one can help you because there is no one just you. this kind of alone is one of the worst effects of abuse i think ,becase it seems like there is no answer ,no cure . something that the abuse takes away made me realize that if you think about it we are all alone ,people come and go in our lives but bottom line is its just you alone against whatever it is your fighting .sometimes the thing you are fighting is yourself ,your feelings that no matter what you are truely totaly alone. people can love you give you advice and care but still your alone with just yourself and sometimes thats just not enough. sorry this made no sense at all i'm not good at getting across what i mean ,but its something real hard to describe adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

Top
#64292 - 08/27/06 07:24 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
thetraveller Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 69
Loc: England
I think you've handle this really well. You've taken time to reasearch the issue and try to understand the problems arising from CSA.

From the way you describe your husbands actions afterwards he has taken it all the right way.

Your husband is very lucky to have you. Your being amazingly supportive and brave helping him to face his demons.

I wish you the best of luck

Take care

Craig


Top
#64293 - 08/27/06 11:20 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Your husband's reaction vividly illustrates the problems that can arise when a loving partner gets involved and tries to encourage the survivor to seek help.

You haven't been horrible at all; you have been very encouraging and helpful and you have shown him a lot of love and affection. But it may take awhile to break down the barriers that keep him from admitting that he needs help and seeking it.

What are these barriers? He has certainly not yet admitted that abuse is affecting his life and the lives of those closest to him; he wants to dismiss it and he thinks he can just "get over it". He may also think abuse makes him unmanly, disgusting, shameful, and undesirable as a man. He may fear that if he faces things, then he will have to say what happened; what if you and other disbelieve him or abandon him? What if you mock him or tell him it's no big deal?

These are all really big fears for a survivor. And arching over the whole mess is the issue of trust. Abuse was a devastating violation of his trust, and now, in order to recover, he has to trust again? That will be huge problem and one not easily solved.

Remember too that what your husband needs isn't so much research as emotional support and strength. He needs to know he can count on you. But at the same time he needs to know what you expect and what your boundaries are. It doesn't help him if he is allowed to drift or if he sees that his drifting is okay with you.

Apart from making it clear that you have to be treated with respect, I think he needs to know that for you as a feeling caring woman it isn't enough for things to just bubble along, with you two friends, as you say, but not spouses. He needs to see that the current problem isn't just about his recovery. By dismissing things the way he does, he is also dismissing the serious impact HIS problems are having on your relationship.

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)

Top
#64294 - 08/28/06 01:46 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
I think you did just the right thing, just opening the door. The challenge is now to resist the urge to have him move forward faster than he can. I have relized that men and women survivors have a very different way to handle recovery. I feel women go into recovery at a regular pace, kind of linear and men it's like they are climbing stairs with long pause sometimes in between making a step up. Do you understand ?
So your man might need 6 months before he actually reads stuff or he might read and pause for a year before he speaks about it or he might do everything in a week. What I feel from his reply is that he would not want to be pushed further (not being controlled). Please understand also that it is dangerous and frightening for a survivor to abandon his defenses. For the time being, be there when he wants to talk, keep most of the infos you get for yourself and let him do the discovery work at his own pace. I did all the wrong thing with my love and he ended up hating me for that. I sincerely hope it will work out. Your husband is very lucky to have you.
Wishing you the best
Caro

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

Top
#64295 - 08/28/06 03:14 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
brokenhearted:

my own heart goes out to you for your strength and courage in standing by your husband despite the difficulties you are facing. no doubt, you are sometimes wondering if it's worth it. i think you are amazing in keeping such a positive outlook, finding hope in your desire to help ease his burden.

i am only speaking for myself, but you certainly give hope to my situation with my bf who has a will like none i've ever seen in anyone.

Quote:
By dismissing things the way he does, he is also dismissing the serious impact HIS problems are having on your relationship.
this act of dismissal i can't help but wonder if it's typical of survivors in general - because it's the way you all have been treated - dismissed by your abusers after being abused, dismissed by those you thought were supposed to protect you and later as adults, your pain and suffering may have been also dismissed.

is it any wonder when someone like brokenhearted, myself, or others who are trying to help are also dismissed by you all? when anything and everything connected to the abuse was also dismissed before, you are just repeating a learned pattern, i think.

i also think the key is to let the dismissal happen on its own (by the survivor) and then keep going past it, that is, persevere, don't give up, hang in there, i.e., don't be dismissed so easily. gently, of course, patiently, always, but again, not to give up.

indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

Top
#64296 - 08/28/06 09:30 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
I really appreciate all of the encouragement and advice. I felt good YESTERDAY having said my part, but today I'm depressed again. I just miss my husband so much and he still doesn't say I Love You to me, only to our daughter, we are like buddies, friends, kind but not intimate.

I wish I could have squeezed more into the conversation I had with him, I wish I had emphasized how this "thing" between us is hurting our relationship today. I wish I had emphasized that it CAN and WILL get better if he wants it to by talking to someone. Now I will have to wait a while before mentioning that, so I don't constantly barrage him w/ "complaints." I'm genuinely afraid to give him any kind of ultimatim - even though many of you say it worked for you - to get him to talk to someone, because what he just says "see ya," what if he really doesn't love me anymore and it's not that much to do w/ the abuse clouding his judgment; maybe he's just done w/ me/his family.

I am going through so much.

Sorry I'm rambling but I'm just still so powerless - I know my husband won't "be controlled." I don't blame him. Maybe he never will talk to anyone, he'll just move on, move back to the big city and date all kinds of women that are just as aloof as he is. I don't understand because we have such a history, I love him.

I think I just need to breathe. I'm a patient person. I can wait as long as it takes, but it's just hard. I can handle the no-intimacy, but if only he would still say he loves me. I'm so confused. Maybe this is his abuse making him not feel close to me - he has said he doesn't feel close to me - of course he works almost all the time and it is hard to nurture our relationship, but then he's ALWAYS worked a lot and we've been close before.

Can abuse issues actually deceive a person enough that he thinks his marriage is over, that he doesn't love someone anymore since he can't be intimate w/ her...Guess I'm just asking lots of unanswerable questions. Oh well, I just am glad I found this place.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

Top
#64297 - 08/28/06 11:05 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Brokenhearted,

i'm sorry you still have so much anxiety about your husband and your relationship; i totally can identify with your situation.

Quote:
ask him if he feels alone,even when hes with people,even people who love him ,i dont mean if he feels alone because of the abuse ,but just alone like there is this great big world but hes not a part of it
adam's words are poignant - my bf expressed this sentiment almost exactly (minus the mention of abuse) when we had our first fight; significantly, i wanted to break up w/him because i was tired of trying to guess how he felt about me when he didn't verbalize it.

i'm not sure why exactly my bf spoke about feeling alone when i was complaining about him not expressing his feelings to me and then adam here has said this, and your hubby isn't verbalizing to you, but maybe there is a connection?

from the beginning my bf has never spoken verbally about his feelings for me and at first it had me guessing a lot, questioning everything and absolutely perplexed at times. finally, i learned to trust my instincts and just keep reminding myself of all the sweet-talking guys i'd known in the past who couldn't hold a candle to this man's actions - which is my point. actions DO speak louder than words. whether it's a survivor trait not to be able to verbalize his feelings very well, i'm not really sure, but maybe it seems it's part of it, after all, their feelings have been forced down inside for so long, it's got to be very difficult for them to be accessed, much less individualized and shared.

i've had men who sent flowery sentimental cards and then walked away w/o blinking. men who made all kinds of promises and then betrayed me and those promises in a heartbeat. men who say they're sorry and then repeat the same transgression again and again.

then there's my bf who has never promises, never literates his love for me but it's so visible in his tenderness, his glance, his gentleness and thoughtfulness; i've learned to let go of a traditional way of thinking about what a relationship should and should not be. and just as in the positive aspects of our relationship his actions tell me what's good - when he's upset w/me about something he's just as apt to behave in a way that's more than clear ( \:\( !!) he's unhappy. that's been difficult because it's so much easier if someone verablizes their displeasure and you can work it out by talking, but that just doesn't seem to be in his capacity right now. of course, i'm trying to help him in talking more about his feelings but that's a whole other thread!

try not to lock yourself up into looking for what may not be possible and try and concentrate on what is - both w/your hubby and yourself.

the old addage about staying busy is especially important now - keep yourself busy with your own interests as much as possible so as not to dwell on your relationship. i do know that's easier said than done but i also know time passes a lot easier when you have your own obligations and responsibilities to deal with.

certainly you have a lot on your plate right now, with family health issues, not just your own marriage troubling you.

you are a very positive woman, remember that. there are peaks and valleys in all avenues of life, when you are in a valley just remind yourself a peak will be ahead.

all the best,
indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

Top
#64298 - 08/29/06 01:31 AM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Indy,

Apparently my hus. was keeping his feelings to himself for a long time. He gave me beautifully written cards earlier this yr, saying how me and our daughter are his happiness, how he loves sharing life w/ me and looks forward to finishing it w/ me, etc., I mean, he wrote all that. Then on Father's Day he has his midnight walk and tells me he's unhappy, doesn't know why, etc. just out of the blue to me. Then about a month later when we talk again about his unhappiness and he says he's been trying to work on it "for our whole marriage" and that he "gave up on" me a long time ago, I bring up the cards he had written to me, and he said to nevermind them, just nevermind the cards, it was just all for you, everything's for you....in other words they were a lie, part of the charade you survivors know too well.

Like he expects me to see that he's unhappy even when he's lying to me about how wonderful things are. It's profoundly confusing to me.

And then he'd go on and say all of a sudden that it seems like we have value differences, all of a sudden he's not sure we agree anymore on big issues like political and so forth, or whatever, just value issues. Like why would he change all of a sudden in those areas. Maybe he's just been trying to find out who he is, really is, and just didn't know all this time. Heck if I know.

And along w/ it all are his statements all of a sudden after so many yrs of marriage where he says things like "If you really knew me you would not love me," "You deserve someone WAY better," "I'm sorry but I don't feel ANYTHING" (around me.)

At first, when it all came to light on Father's Day, he was blaming it on ME. He said some hurtful things that simply are not true and so many people have told me it's bull. Very hurtful.

So anyway, that was back on Father's Day. Since then, he has said, "It's not you, it's ME." So he owns it now and I'm no longer the one to blame.

So anyway. I know I'm a good wife and mother. I keep the house very clean, I take our daughter to church alone because he won't go w/ us, I am always there for him but he keeps himself in the dark to me.

Maybe he's just having confusing bad feelings about himself, not sure where they're coming from, and looking to blame someone first, then admit it's his own problem, but still doesn't know what it is.

Shadow and Indy, I could ask him if he's ever lonely. I would bet money on it that he is. But then what do I say? "Sweetie, why don't you talk to someone?" as I've already said before.

I'll probably end up deleting this post. Too much info here. But I'm not giving up yet. I will soon be seeing a counselor on my own.

I love the peaks and valleys saying. The thing I hate, is that just when I think I'm on a peak, I learn later that it never was true. It's hard to know what to believe anymore since he hides it all from me. Hope he won't continue to do so; I often ask how he's doing, but he always just says Fine. Which isn't telling me a thing.

So how do I get him to talk for crying out loud? Tell me what's really going on? I don't want beautiful cards full of b.s. meant to mislead me totally. It's too cruel.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.