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#65596 - 06/24/06 12:44 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
I read this thread very shortly after I first joined but it was too overwhelming for me to wrap my brain around. Today, it still is. I guess that means I have to take some serious time and re-read it and absorb it. So much of it is too familiar and it frightens me.

ROCK ON....Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#65597 - 06/28/06 09:01 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
What a surprise to see this topic resurface, and I've just read it all again and realised what a great one it is regarding the relationship between a survivor and partner.

And the latest post from BeautifulDisaster raises an interesting aspect that my friend, a non survivor, and I were talking about only yesterday. How our families influence our lives so much, and how little we realise it. Unless we're pushed into a position where we need to look back at what they did, and how they raised us.

Quote:
I just wanted to add something very amazing to this thread that may shed some light.
His T said it is very common to find a man suffering M/W syndrome will have a mother that was molested herself thus being a very 'hands-off' type parent due to her own abuse.
Just thought that was pretty significant and wanted to add it to this thread.
My mother has always been a very cold and distant woman, she loves me and has always cared and provided for me and my brother, but there's never been any outward display of affection or emotion that either of us can ever remember.

Currently I'm having to deal with all the many cousins and remaining relatives from my mothers side of the family while I sort out a family will that affects us all, and oh boy is this a good way to find out about the family!
My mother has always had a bitter streak in her, there's always been an underlying sense of resentment that I'm coming to recognise as 'something' that has a long history, probably way back to her childhood.

That's something she shares with one other older brother, now dead, and my suspicion based upon family gossip is that 'something' happened between them.

Whatever happened this pair, out of eight, became bitter and resentful for all their lives.
This frame of mind then affects the lives of those around them, especially the children.

Thankfully my uncle had no legitamate kids, but his poisonous influence has affected some of my cousins who he dealt with a lot.
My mothers influence on my brother and I is huge, but it's something we only recognise now as adults, and both of us have been in therapy - for different reasons.

This poem says it all, it's my life in three verses.

Dave

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

_________________________
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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#65598 - 07/09/06 01:02 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
native Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/09/06
Posts: 1
Loc: Michigan
My gosh....sounds like my husband, his family ect. BUT I dont believe he highly esteems his mom. I think there's a lot of love/hate going on.But my problem w/ the whole situation is the hurt and resentment I feel towards him becuz of the sexuall relations we have. It seems the minute he fell in love w/ me his intamacy, sexuall techniques, lust for me, desire for me all waned out. It hurts soooooooo bad and our sex is virtually boring. He even has a hard time kissing me during sexuall relations. What I need to know is how to handle this. I have came rite out and told him, IM NOT YOUR MOM!!! I'm your wife. This has emotionally damaged me. I am trying to be understanding...but as selfish as it sounds, what about me? Am I just to die inside?

_________________________
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

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#65599 - 07/10/06 06:49 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
stride Offline
Member

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

First, my guy and I are no longer together, and over the past several months I have worked hard to return my focus to where it belongs & can do some good: To myself, my own stuff, and developing/maintaining peace of mind. Meanwhile, my ex is back into cocaine, partying, and (as far as I can gather) one night stands with women he meets on the road (he's on tour with a very well known rock band).

From the few exchanges I've had with him over the past few months (generally I've been incommunicado and have refused to reply to the occasional emails/calls I get from him) it has become crystal clear that he is not looking at his own behaviour, learning from his mistakes or growing at all. In fact, even a couple of his longtime friends have observed that he seems boastful, arrogant and "quite full of himself" these days, telling everyone how great his life is now and how happy he is.

What they don't see is the stuff I have, even since we've split: the emails sent at 5 a.m. about his anxiety attacks, nightmares, depression, and sense of feeling totally disconnected from his feelings for others. I saw his Mom in May and she told me she is so happy to see him happy and "doing so well" these days. Denial, denial, DENIAL, all around. Sometimes it all leaves me wanting to just scream, but that's for me to work through.

All of this has finally and irrevocably brought the reality of my own previous state of denial into sharp focus. I am at last in that place where I realize how utterly destructive and futile it is to invest in a relationship with someone who is not seriously working at recovery. In the past all it would take would be a (usually drunken) confession from him about his recognition of his own inner hell to rekindle my hopes that he may be on the verge of committing to doing something about his issues and addictions. But no, within a few hours he invariably reverts right back to the same old same old.

You know, I "told" Brant that I wasn't his Mom (nor his Dad, when it came to our sex life) several times myself, expressed my needs, verbally asserted boundaries, etc. But my actions spoke otherwise. My actions said "no matter what I say or you do, I'll still be loving you and here for you."

Even in bed I had long ago become so fearful of triggering him in any way that I'd just always be game whenever he showed any interest, ever hopeful that it would be better "this time." I was very fearful that if I tried to get more of my own psycho-emotional/sexual needs met there it would only create greater distance between us, a greater sense of inadequacy or disinterest in him, generate conflict, or whatever--much of which I'd learned to expect through my experiences with him whenever I had tried anything in that area. Still, I was so desperately longing to "regain"/have that kind of connection with him (it had been great in the very beginning)--felt so lonely and sexually neglected/abandoned/rejected/confused/unfulfilled/you name it--and my self-esteem/self-image plummeted steadily. And yeh,when we did have sex it was generally very predictable, boring, and much of the time felt emotionally vacant before it was through. It was heartbreaking, but I didn't want to give up hope and tried to be as understanding, patient and supportive as I knew how, given his (unaddressed) years of CSA. For a while there I even tried to resign myself to the possibility that I may NEVER have anything even remotely close to the kind of sexual connection that I needed and wanted with him (face-to-face would have been a welcome start), but I "loved" him so much I even tried to convince myself that a lifetime of sexual loneliness and heartache wouldn't be so bad.

Every once in a while I'd "hit the wall" and just give up. Besides, there were so many other issues, none of which were being addressed (though he did quit using cocaine for about 16 months). Hell, I've lost count of how many times I left him and said that was "it" for me, that I was through with him. For me it was kinda like quitting smoking, I had to "quit" him many times before I finally broke free of my own addiction to him and to the dream of "what could be." I still get the odd craving for him at times, but nothing like I did before.

I'll tell you one thing, returning to this forum today (which I did after being PM'd by someone here), reading some of the posts, etc, has been so reaffirming for me. My heart goes out to you all, survivors and partners alike, and if Brant had been working on his stuff, I'd still be at his side today, impersonal/"boring" sex for the time being or no. But without a JOINT commitment to the recovery/growth process, there just wasn't anything to stick around for and I finally got that.

If anything, what still bothers me at times is my feeling that he no longer values or respects me at all--that through treating myself with such little respect during the course of our relationship (and enabling him in countless ways besides), he seems to feel no loss about us at all. Why that would still matter to me is a question worth exploring in itself, but either way, he doesn't value or respect himself, so how could he possibly truly value or appreciate someone else, other than beyond valuing them for whatever need/desire they might be able to fill *for him* in the moment?

If your husband is tangibly and actively working on things with you, great. If he shows REAL commitment to working his own recovery, to you and to your relationship, great. But either way, what I really get now is that the most appropriate relationship for me to ever work on, above all others, is the one I have with *myself.* And staying in relationships that aren't working with people who may talk about working on them, but don't actually do so in measurable, consistent, and conscientious ways is not just a drain, it's a sewer.

I can do nothing about Brant and/or his family/friends/lifestyle/self-delusions and public masks of happiness. However, I can tell you this: Working on myself and pursuing a life that works *for me* has been far more rewarding than I could possibly have imagined before. Yes, I sleep alone now (by choice), but my bed has become a restful, comfortable and welcome sanctuary for me instead of the lonely, fraught-ridden, self-annihilating place it used to be. Not only that, but there is now room in it for someone new--someone capable of real intimacy--should I meet someone I might choose to share that kind of connection with.

Ditto for my life in general. I've had more fun and positive, enriching experiences in the first few weeks of this summer already than I had in all the 4 summers that I was with Brant combined. I have peace of mind in my home, peace of mind in my relationships with the friends I see now, with my family, my neighbours and my coworkers. I still have my own weaknesses and problems to work out--and am doing so--but I don't feel so messed up anymore (in fact, I am generally feeling pretty good about where I'm at these days). No doubt this is because I'm not spending my life trying to do someone else's work for them, or to inspire them to do that for themselves, nor is my own happiness and life on hold anymore, waiting for someone else to change so that I can be happy:
I mean, how insane is that?

Native, I don't know your story and I'm not advocating that you leave your husband. I'm only sharing where I'm at now and encouraging you, with or without him, to love yourself *first.* My life matters, my needs (sexual and otherwise)matter, my feelings and sense of self matter, and today I treat my life as if it matters RIGHT NOW.

Perhaps that's the biggest change for me thus far, since before I was effectively putting my own needs and happiness on indefinite hold, making such things dependent upon what someone else was or wasn't doing, and hoping that "some day" they'd "get it" and I'd/we'd be happy at last. In my case, it was as much me that needed to "get it" as it was him. I just didn't want to face what I knew inside all along. It was painful--still can be at times--and it has taken a tremendous about of determination and work just to get to where I am right now, but it's certainly been well worth it.

You know, I ran into Brant and a friend of his on the ferry a couple of weeks ago. It was quite an interesting--and affirming--experience for me. We had a polite, friendly, casual chat, but for once I was able to be both engaged in the interaction and at the same time observe it all as if from a "fly on the wall" viewpoint. I realized that he is still the best looking man I know in my eyes, and I was aware of what I'm sure was a mutually felt chemistry/attraction, yet that didn't throw me off balance or leave me feeling any desire to try to rekindle some kind of connection with him. 4 1/2 years of heartache, insanity, loneliness, chaos and painful reality checks have finally out-muscled any romantic fantasies/impulses I may still have about him. "Been there, done that." Life's too short.

Anyway, that's where I'm at now. Hopefully the relationship I had with Brant was very different (overall) from the one you have with your husband. Perhaps if Brant was not also active in his coke and alcohol addictions things would have turned out differently with us, I don't know. It still would have required that we both were actively committed to addressing our respective issues and personal growth, as well as *JOINTLY* committed to making our relationship (including our sex life) work and work FOR BOTH OF US. However, he is where he is. He does what he does. And I have chosen to take a different path.

Hopeful thoughts for your happiness and all the best to you,

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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#65600 - 07/11/06 09:51 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Hi guys

I've not been around for a while and lo and behold a gem of a thread.

Whilst my partner and I have made huge strides in healing and the dynamics of our lives together, our lovelife is almost laughably dificult. For the period of time that wraps around our lovemamkng theres a huge degree of fragility surrounding feelings of safety, desire etc etc..

Its good to hear that others are exersing such a degree of patience and tolerance with this. Thanks for your openness with this topic people.

I shuffle between moments of insecurity when I doubt the strength of our relationship because we don't have a decent sex life and then persuading myself that because we are so OK with the cuddles, hand holding and general physical closeness that the actual sex doesn't matter!!

It is certaintly a hard one and we go through periods of trying very hard to improve it and then we remember its meant to be fun!!

Once or twice we've talked and talked and been really close and then felt turned on. It was a gorgeous glimpse into what real lovemaking could be like.

A pyscosexual T has been a little but not much help.
As my partner says, the wiring is all wrong, sex fear and shame... bound together very tightly and a bugger to undo.

T


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#65601 - 07/12/06 12:47 AM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
My husband acts fine on the surface. 99% of the time he has no outward signs of being sexually abused. We have a great relationship......except sex. He wishes that I would chose to ignore the whole issue of him being sexually abused. If I bring up the issue he becomes sad and distant. He won't talk and won't go to therapy. I'm torn. I want things to get better and I don't want to ignore the problem....yet anytime I bring up kissing, holding hands, and god forbid...sex....he "clams" up. I don't know what to do. If I leave him alone he is generally happy and fun (at least on the outside) Do I keep bringing this issue up? Every time I bring it up I know he feels like he isn't good enough for me. If I tell him that I am not satisfied he feels guilty and thinks I would be better off with out him. Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I leave him be and naver get any intimacy? Should I keep pushing and make him feel sad? Any help would be appreciated.


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#65602 - 07/12/06 05:50 PM Re: Madonna-Whore Syndrome? **TRIGGERS**
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Stride

I hope you keep coming around here when you feel okay with it and contributing to the conversations. You have a lot of wisdom and compassion to bring with you.

Even if your ex wants to deny that there was any value in the time/relationship that you shared, it's clear to me that you've taken away some very valuable gifts to yourself.

SAR


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