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#65546 - 03/10/05 05:56 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Emerald

Quote:
Around him I felt one up at the beginning and one down at the end. I didn't really feel like there was a time we were equals. This was very subtle and I don't think I iniated these feelings
That's a great de>
_________________________
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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#65547 - 03/10/05 09:03 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
"And this reminds me of another aspect of this issue.
When I was "one down" and didn't want to be there, I would use sabotage to get "one up"
With practice I found it remarkably easy to manipulate situations so that we ended up disagreeing, or upset. But it was 'never' my fault!"

Thanks Dave ! This is IT and it feels good to hear this from a male survivor ! It kind of helped me to realize I was not crazy.
My love got "us" in trouble just like this. It is interesting to point that I was always the indirect victim of this behaviour until he actually accused me of inventing stuff (like his feelings for me in the first place).
The first victim of this sabotage was our relationship. I can even precise my thoughts: the real victim was the sense of trust we had managed to establish beyond all our fears (being both survivors, these fears are sometimes overwhelming and stopped us from talking to each other). Yes, the sabotage was specifically directed to our mutual trust. And, of course every time my love ended up the sabotage saying it was all my fault. If I apologized and, in a healthier way, asked him suggestions so we could try to sort out our problems the crazy cycle was up again (obviously because it triggered him and he felt even more like a failure with me).
I am stuck now in a nowhere break up land full of mines. I froze, and I am still freezing !!! ;\)
Yes it's a kind of dark humour. ;\) My only solution right now: work on MY issues and... I have taken up kundalini yoga so as to help me stop the vicious cycle, well at least on a karmic level ! \:D

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#65548 - 03/11/05 01:03 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
beautifuldisaster Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 85
Loc: usa
Hi all,
This thread has really been beneficial to me. Thank you all for being so open and honest. This forum is an amazing tool.
I am just wondering where or when the point comes that it is "okay" to blend sex with emotion for a survivor.

xo

_________________________
I AM THE MASTER OF MY DREAMS,
I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL-

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#65549 - 03/11/05 01:43 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
I am just wondering where or when the point comes that it is "okay" to blend sex with emotion for a survivor.
If someone finds it, I'll sell it. We'll all be rich.

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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#65550 - 03/11/05 02:03 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
SAR wrote:

Quote:
But once we see this going on, I believe we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our partners to put a stop to it.
That 'responsibility' word is not exactly the one that I am apt to choose as my first option in relationships with significant others. Who wants to be responsible? Especially if there is someone very nearby who is willing to allow us to escape lifes responsibilities?

I know today that in order to become the loving person I seek to be, I must assume what is my responsibility and also allow others the dignity to accept theirs.

Unless I am dealing with children I try very hard to NOT do for others what they can do for themselves.

I do not always succeed in this and most times trouble is the result.

It is so easy to say, "There's nothing wrong with doing nice things for the person I love.".

But in a relationship where one or more have been damaged by sexual abuse; which is really an abuse of power and trust, then yes, there IS something wrong with me doing nice things for the person I love--especially things that they can, should and will do for themselves if I would only stay out of the way.

Some of us like me get so used to having our dignity and self-respect taken from us, as it was in the sexually abusive relationship, that I went through life looking for others to rob me of those same things. It is the familiar, no matter how painful it is, it is what I knew best.

Guess what? I always found them. Some of them were very nice and kind. Some were not. But the result was the same.

Today I know that when I treat adults in my life like they were children needing me to 'fix' or 'direct' or 'control' them, what I am doing is stealing from them. Stealing their dignity to make myself feel needed and more powerful.

Someone else expressed it this way:


"For people like me the golden rule is not enough. I need the "silver rule", which is that I do not do for others what they can do for themselves."

This is really a tough one to follow through on, no matter which side of the equation I am on.

As for the question of sexual relations, it is my experience that what shows up in the bedroom is what is most prevalent in the rest of my life.

It was folly for me to imagine I could change the way I was sexually without first changing the overall pattern of how I related to people.

Doing things for others in order to get them to like me or take care of me or be responsible for me, is what the sexual abuse in my life was all about.

No wonder I continued for so many years to replicate that dynamic.

I'm not sure if I am able to express myself clearly on this subject, but I do know that I must be very careful when I find it necessary to violate my "silver rule".

Thanks all, for sharing.

Regards,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#65551 - 03/11/05 03:02 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
beautifuldisaster Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 85
Loc: usa
Danny,
I do "get" what you are saying. You always have such wise things to say. I think however, the one common thread for the partners in this type of relationship is that we feel helpless to the one fact that if we do nothing except to make a clear and easy path for change/recovery in this area for our MS generally we get that same result. NOTHING. So, now we sit trying to balance the push/pull dance. When I do push, at least he understands I am hurt/frustrated. Yet, this always seems to lead to internal personal injury to both the heart and soul...who can come out feeling good after having to pose questions involving your attractiveness/desire quotient to your partner?
So, yes.....there is a line. I want more than anything to abide by the SILVER RULE. I just cant seem to find/figure out what it is! I think this is the same frustration of both the survivors AND their partners.

_________________________
I AM THE MASTER OF MY DREAMS,
I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL-

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#65552 - 03/11/05 08:23 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I agree with you entirely.

I do think of myself as having responsibilities where others are concerned-- although perhaps the responsibility to myself and my partner would be better described as my responsibility to our relationship.
Quote:
there IS something wrong with me doing nice things for the person I love--especially things that they can, should and will do for themselves if I would only stay out of the way.
This "staying out of the way" is exactly what I was saying I have a responsibility to do.

I have that responsibility because I hold myself responsible when it comes to doing something that would hurt someone I love-- as it would hurt my boyfriend to keep playing this game of submission and twisted needs and inadequacy-- or something that would diminish me-- as it would diminish me to choose control over trust.

I am the one who must draw the line, and say, no, I am not going to get you out of this-- I will love you and respect you even when I don't agree with your decisions, and I will listen and share with you, but I will not tell you what to do, I will not help you because I know that helping you is hurting you, and I will not let you hurt me. I think I am accountable for my decision to say that or not to say it, and for the consequences to my relationship and my life. That's what I mean by my responsibility.


beautifuldisaster and all,

I can only speak for myself and my boyfriend, I know it hurts to wait for change.
Quote:
if we do nothing except to make a clear and easy path for change/recovery in this area for our MS generally we get that same result. NOTHING.
I did not get a result of nothing.

I vented and gritted my teeth on this forum for months about how much I wanted my boyfriend to hurry up and be better already-- which is probably a good thing because I kept it away from him. I was AFRAID it would all come to nothing--or worse.

He went into therapy almost a year after he disclosed-- and he didn't disclose until months after I found out he'd been acting out online-- and I didn't find out about that until a year or so after he realized that he needed to make some changes, and stopped doing it.

Two, maybe closer to three years, to finally seek help getting out of the mess that he'd lived in for ten times that long. Really it's not such a long time.

About two years ago we went to a show together-- and about halfway through I was startled to hear a strange man's laughter very close to me... it was my boyfriend laughing. I had been with him for almost six years and I didn't recognize the sound of him laughing.

If you'd told me that day that two years later he'd laugh all the time I don't know if I'd have believed it. I certainly wouldn't have believed that he'd be driving a clean (registered!) car, taking care of his health, enjoying his work, going to church, standing up to his parents, getting enough sleep, seeing a therapist...

If a year ago, you told me that he'd be that way in a year, I might have believed you but I would have wanted it all right away. ;\)

Good things take time to grow. Bad things take time to outgrow.

After everything that's changed, our sex life is still the most complicated, emotional thing we deal with as a couple. It is hurtful for both of us. But waiting for my boyfriend to come to healing in his own time has resulted in the best things thus far, I am willing to wait for this too.


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#65553 - 03/11/05 04:58 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I don't know who wrote this, or if I can remember it correctly-

"Don't walk in front of me, I might not follow. Don't walk behind me, I might not lead. Just walk alongside me and be my friend."

It makes a lot of sense to me, I want to be equal; not better or worse.
I've had a belly-full of worse, and I hope that I would never think of myself as 'better' than someone else. I don't like people who think they're 'better' than me either.

But this also reflects what Danny said, and I agree 100% Danny, we should actively try to avoid interfering with someone who is trying to correct some kind of emotional and cognitive problem.
Support and talk about all you want, but I think I can say in all honesty that nobody ever told me what to do, not my therapist, wife or any friends or family. I guess I was lucky.

But I also know that I would have reacted badly to someone telling me what to do. For two reasons.
Firstly I'd reacted badly to 'authority' for over 30 years, that wasn't going to go away overnight.
Secondly, I think I knew instinctively that it was 'my deal'. Again, maybe I was lucky in that the people around me didn't start offering advice and instructions, maybe I would have given in and let them do all the thinking, as again, I had done for over 30 years.

My wife usually say's something like "what can I do to help?" - "Do you want to talk?". It's always questions that allow me to decide on the level of 'help' I need at the time. I know I'm lucky there, I've seen her at work with students, most of whom come to her when somethings wrong. And she's exactly the same, her questions place the responsibility for any decisions back with them. She gives, advice, support and facts, but not instructions.

I came with my own set of instructions, they just got lost.

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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#65554 - 03/11/05 07:54 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
SAR,

Your very articulate and most recent post has been very helpful in pinpointing the key points to remember here. I'd like to say that it was an encouraging post for me as well (e.g. to correct & stay the course), yet must confess to an all too pervasive sense of "my guy's not like your guy": In other words, I am terribly afraid that just 'staying out of his way'and letting him resume responsibility for things like managing his own money/bills will prove disasterous, at least for me.

What the hell does that tell me? I know that he's capable of being financially responsible for himself--there's certainly no reason why he couldn't be--but he's never demonstrated any serious commitment to that: Not for all the years before we got together; not prior to my moving out in Nov. '03; not in all the months that we lived and were apart after that (12 months living apart and a cumulative total of 7 months split up); and not since we've been living together again.

He's quite a hard worker and when there's not much/enough work in his regular occupation, he will always hustle up something else to fill in the gaps. It's how he manages (or doesn't manage) his money that creates problems.

For example, he doesn't keep an eye on his account to ensure he's left enough money in there for his automatic debit payments. He "forgets" about upcoming bills, "doesn't realize" that it's already the first of the month and the rent's due, "needs" to keep $100 to get a much-needed part for his vehicle, etc. (WRT the latter, he drives a 31 year old vehicle that is forever breaking down [or on the verge of breaking down], guzzles gas like a fiend, is entirely impractical, and parts are not only exceptionally expensive to get for it but all but impossible to find anyway--new or used--and there is no local supplier. Yet he insists on both keeping/driving it, insisting that it is totally practical [though it only has two seats, so when his daughter's with us we don't go anywhere as a threesome] and just as reliable as any other vehicle, and argues that it's worth far more than it, in actuality, is. DENIAL.)

And when he runs into a financial crisis (which he does as a matter of routine, it seems)? He takes out loans from private lenders at exorbitant rates (i.e. 32.99%), borrows money from his mom, etc. When I found out he was both dealing coke and still using, his argument was that he needed the extra income to help pay his living expenses. All it was really doing was helping him support his own habit, but you couldn't tell him that, and he seemed genuinely surprised after he quit that he owed his connection a substantial amount of money.

His financial troubles became so utterly (And chronically) unmanageable that he recently (after much argument from me) filed bankruptcy. He seems to feel good about that decision, but I've already agreed to keep track of his receipts and fill out the expense forms for his trustee each month. All he had to do was just make the decision, sign the papers, and voila! most of his debts are gone and I'm doing the on-going paperwork for him.

Anyway, I make enough to pay all of the rent and utility bills if need be, but neither of us want that for so long as he's living here. Yet history has shown over and over again that if I entrust him to have his share of things ready as they become due, he won't have it. ("Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me"?) Either that or he'll give me the money for such things, then be borrowing money from me for things like groceries and gas to get him through to his next payday. In effect, still not being responsible for managing his own money.

So, yes, I "enable" him in these ways. And yes, I understand how this actually undermines and impedes his ability to be more responsible for these things himself. Which is not what I want for either of us at all. Truthfully, I have become aware of a growing regret on my part for letting him move in with me again so fast, but here we are.

So this is MY work and MY responsibility to address: I am painfully aware of a distinct lack of faith in him...something which helps him not at all and is, I suppose, offensive to us both. Certainly offensive towards him. My lack of trust that if I give his financial "stuff" back to him to manage, things will fall apart just the same as they always have. My HUGE fear that if I ask him to move out, I will worry about what he's up to when I'm not around (porn, the possibility of other women, etc). My awareness that if I asked him to move out, he'd probably go stay at his mom's, at least for a few months, who will let him live there for free. And the most likely candidates for him to choose as roommates? His youngest brother (who is just as much a financial disaster as he is, a pothead and a partier), or his single musician friends who for the most part are still living the "sex, drugs n' rock & roll" lifestyle.

Oh man, this is so SCARY! Do I have such a low opinion of the man I say I love so much? Of a man I want to show respect for? Am I that much of a control freak, trying to disguise myself as a loving, supportive partner? Nevermind him, my own abandonment and related issues are heckling me from all sides when I look at this closely.

And the financial end of things is only one aspect of this. SAR, did you ever see these things in yourself during your current relationship?

I believe that love is a choice. Perhaps my greatest fear is that my choice to love him in a more healthy and respectful way (i.e. getting out of his way and allowing him to assume full responsibility for himself) will result in the demise of our relationship for good. The question that arises here for myself, and perhaps other partners as well is: Whose interests am I/we really serving here? Whose deep-seated fears are just as much a concern and contributor to the relationship's problems as the survivors? Is there any hope for such unions?

Oh Gawd. I've been aware of these dynamics at varying levels all along, but this may be the first time I've ever really owned MY end of responsibility for our troubles.

Oh Gawd.

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#65555 - 03/11/05 09:16 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Quote:
Whose interests am I/we really serving here? Whose deep-seated fears are just as much a concern and contributor to the relationship's problems as the survivors? Is there any hope for such unions?
I must have seen some of what you describe in myself, stride, because those are the same questions I found myself asking. ;\)

I'll have to get back to this later.


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