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#66460 - 05/23/03 08:47 PM Sad decisions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
I’ve posted a few messages about my relationship with my bf, who is a survivor. I am very sorry to say it looks as though there is no hope left for this relationship. I wanted to thank everyone for the messages and support I’ve gotten – both the responses to my own posts and the thoughtful posts and answers that I’ve read on the site. It is a tremendous help to get perspective from others who are having similar difficulties.

Unfortunately, my last conversation with my bf requesting an effort to acknowledge my feelings in regard to the yo-yo nature of the relationship resulted in his telling me that he is not in love with me and if I think that things will change as the result of his therapy I am deluding myself because he will never have those feelings for me. I have attempted to be objective and not just react to the harshness of the words, but even as I view the history of the relationship it is clear that he has no intent to address any issues that have surfaced between the two of us. He basically gave me a “take it or leave it” kind of offer & I don’t see any way that I can take it emotionally – given that he is telling me that he has no desire to work anything out.

I am truly brokenhearted. I have tried in the past to talk about other ways for us to relate to each other while he deals with things, but whatever is going on in his mind, he seems only able to view me as a romantic/sexual companion & is completely unappreciative of the nurturing and support I have given. I feel used and & really angry about the fact that the people he focuses his energy on are those that have ‘wronged’ him. He is going through a process of realizing how he allows people to take advantage of him and setting things right by either distancing himself from those friends or disassociating from them entirely. These are people to whom he has given gifts, done major favors, and accommodated on their terms and not his own & been thanked by more requests and more expectations on their part. The irony is that he is basically doing the same things he accuses them of doing to him to me.

I have given him my support both emotionally and in more concrete ways like going to the store when he is out of food & can't deal with it. I was the person he first talked to about the abuse, the support during his depression & other difficult times, and pushed him to find his own support so that he didn’t “need” me or anyone, but would have the choice to choose who he wants in his life. I feel betrayed because I haven’t really expected anything from him for some time -- he is just too troubled to give -- but now I am supposed to either tolerate being treated poorly or go away.

The sad thing is that I miss him, but reality is that what I think I miss isn’t really there. I ‘miss’ being able to call him & talk when I have a bad day – or really share any kind of day, good, bad or mediocre – but I haven’t been able to do that for quite some time. Sometimes he surprises me and is very giving and caring, which is why I have hung in there (along with the fact that I can see how devastating the abuse has been and why he has had such trouble in dealing with things). I guess what I am saying is I don’t want to give up, but even sadder is the fact that I am realizing that there is almost nothing left that I am giving up.

BB.


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#66461 - 05/23/03 09:01 PM Re: Sad decisions
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
This is a most difficult time for you. I feel something of the grief you seem to be feeling.

If the relationship needs to end though, I would hope it could end by the two of you coming to see that you want the other to be happy and live a healthy life. I suspect some of the things he may say very curtly to you are said in that manner because he is speaking to himself as much as you and trying to be secure iin who he sees himself to be.

Peace to both of you.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#66462 - 05/23/03 10:58 PM Re: Sad decisions
doctorfrau Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 60
Loc: West Virginia (NOT western Vir...
BB,
If I could give you a hug in cyberspace, I would.

I have the impression that some survivors become terrified if they start to feel that they "need" someone. That feeling of need makes them vulnerable and afraid. So they shove us away to prove to themselves that "they" are still "in control".

The only solution to that is to be found within themselves. We can't give it to them.

Be good to yourself,
Kathy

_________________________
"...your choice, is what to DO with the time that you are given."

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#66463 - 05/24/03 08:26 PM Re: Sad decisions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
bb
Love's a two way deal, and whole lot of compromises as well.
But it's hell when it's all one sided.

Feel proud for what you've done, and remember the good times.

((((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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#66464 - 05/25/03 12:45 PM Re: Sad decisions
Freedom Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 164
Loc: US
I understand more than I wish I did which means BTDT. Hang in there and focus on your life. It is hard to do after a period of dealing with SA.

There way I see it, you do not have a choice but "go away". Staying around and being abused ("treated poorly") is not a healthy option.

Peace,
Freedom.

_________________________
Life is moving on. AM I?

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#66465 - 05/26/03 11:38 AM Re: Sad decisions
Tom S. Offline
Member

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
Dealing with SA, be it in your life or in the life of someone else is simply....hell on earth.
I think the advice posted here is solid, and you also have a very strong and proper perspective on the whole picture as well. All very positive.
Take some of the focus off b/f and focus on someone else, even if you have to find someone at church or a nursing home to give time to be with, and let your relationship take some time off with your lives seperate.
Time can heal a lot of things including relationships and wounds of SA.

quote; In these times of economic uncertainty, it's easy to see who is focused on providing health care, and who is in it for the money.

Tom S.

_________________________
' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

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#66466 - 05/26/03 11:24 PM Re: Sad decisions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks to all of you. It has been a really rough weekend for me. My bf said he wants to have a face-to-face conversation, which will be hard but it may help. We haven't officially broken up yet so there are definitely things to talk about. I think he is waiting for me to get past being so emotional because our last couple of phone conversations involved me getting emotional & he shuts down when the tears start flowing.

Anyway, I just really wanted to express my thanks for the support.

BB.


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#66467 - 05/27/03 08:03 PM Re: Sad decisions
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Hey, BB,

Everyone should have someone like you in their lives.

I'm not kidding. Your opening post said it so clearly. Your friend doesn't sound like he can handle the deeper relationship that you're seeking.

Us abused can be a difficult bunch to read, let alone love and support.

I don't know how my partner does it.
When things have been particularly rough and I ask her--sometimes through tears--how she does it, how she puts up with me, how she hangs in there--she come back with the same four words---

"Because I love you."

Tomorrow's her birthday---is the Hope Diamond available?

You seem to have that quality, B, and if this guy is not worthy--does not want to reciprocate--maybe it's time to find someone who will.

God, that sounds trite and simple.

But with what you've got to offer, it pains me to think that you don't have a good receiver.

One last piece--have you guys tried couple's counseling?
We are, and after even a thousand years of marriage, it is making it better.

Good luck, B. It's after the weekend and I'm hoping that it went well--no matter what the decisions.

Blessings,
David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#66468 - 05/31/03 05:08 PM Re: Sad decisions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Here I am again. I talked to my bf about putting me into a no-win situation where my only option is to break up with him. We talked about some more reasonable expectations we can both have in dealing with each other. He feels that his coping mechanism of running when things become emotionally charged is not something he can, or even wants, to change. He said that it would make him too vulnerable to expose himself emotionally and he isn’t in a place where he is ready to do that. I guess that makes sense – in a non-sensicle kind of way. I mean it is a dysfunctional behavior, but is still serving him since he is very emotionally raw and is really not entirely functional and strong in general.

We made a clear agreement about hurtful comments, and he has agreed that he will quit projecting his anger at me. Or should I say control his actions & protect me from that negative reaction. We both recognized the duality of the relationship – he wants to feel close and intimate, but associates it so strongly with negativity and hurt from his past abuse. I felt like it was a real breakthrough in our conversations to discuss that aspect so clearly. He acknowledged that he was having mixed feelings and that was a real first for us to talk about it and make the connection with the abuse.

Anyway, for me the biggest relief is just to be able to talk about this stuff. Having it out on the table makes it much less hurtful – I mean it still hurts & I honestly don’t know if he will make the effort necessary to keep from projecting his negative feelings at me. He doesn’t think he’ll ever really recover, so I don’t know if he’ll really try to make these changes. At least now though I am not trying to understand his actions on my own with no input from him about why he is doing those things. I mean, it may not save the relationship for him to say why he does what he does, but it does help me feel like even if it ends I can leave with some understanding and not just feeling hurt and used.

--BB.


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#66469 - 05/31/03 05:57 PM Re: Sad decisions
Marc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 256
Loc: Tucson, AZ
stpbb,

How old are you and how old is your bf? It sounds to me like you two are making little, tiny, baby even microcosmic steps. That is likely the level he needs to progress from. Expect nothing accept the best. You two may even eventually decide that it is best for the two of you to move on from each other for awhile. That isn't always a bad thing and you might find each other able to function more cooperatively toward your own individual issues this way. So much so that eventually you truly find each other again! \:\)

Trauma sucks and for all the great male positives in life, we have some of the WORST coping mechanisms because as men we started out in the hole. "I am a male and I am the breadwinner. Everything should be perfect for me. I should be able to deal with ANYTHING on my own because I am da man!"

What a load of shit we as men learn.

Hang in there. Trust in yourself that for the most part, you really are doing what you need to do.

((((((((stpbb))))))))) \:\)


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#66470 - 06/01/03 01:38 PM Re: Sad decisions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks for that Marc. Yes, I think we are basically moving on from each other. It is just less drastic than I had feared -- we are able to communicate and go through the process instead of just completely severing all communications. I had feared that would be the only option given his attitude & comments which were becoming so harsh and negative that it seemed that the only way to protect myself would be to quit taking his calls.

I am encouraged, but as you say it is the tiniest improvement. Funny how that can make all the difference -- the smallest incremental changes really do impact the overall picture, even if it isn't "fixed".

I also was relieved to hear from him some of his progress regarding the abuse issues & sorting through his family history. I think that part of the severe negativity is a result of some painful realizations that he is making. It is sad and painful to see the awful reality he is facing, but I think the prognosis for recovery is better with an honest progression throught the truth instead of being buried in denial.

This is a little off topic, but I'm wondering if any of the other partners find it difficult or traumatizing to hear about their partners abuse. Perhaps I sound naieve here -- I am in my mid-30s, so I'm not unfamiliar with many of the harsh realities of life -- but I grew up in a fairly 'normal' (whatever that is) family with a lot of love, support and opportunity & when I hear about the things that went on in my bf's family, even non-abusive situations that set the scene for the abuse, I am shocked and horrified at what people will allow. It is as though there is something evil lurking under the surface of people that I was never really faced with before. I guess what I mean is that SA is so insidious -- rape, murder, & other horrors in the world are obvious. SA lurks under the surface with supposed 'respectable' people who appear perfectly nice & decent perpetrating horrific things within their own homes.

I think that is part of why I struggle to know what to do in response to this relationship. I have no context in which to know how to react to his healing process. It isn't that I don't see & respond to the obvious -- drawing the line at verbal abuse, for example. It is more things like seeing, as an outsider to the family, that my bf, who is the black sheep by his family's standard, is actually more caring and sincere than the rest of the family members who have adapted better to societal standards of behavior. They still to this day view him as the incurable rebel which makes me want to scream at them for their hypocritical attitudes about him & about his recovery process.

There is the added dimension, as Marc pointed out, of his being male & his family reacts differently to that as well. His sisters went through their own realizations of the abuse history some time ago & yet none of them seems to understand the severity of his crises. He is a man & should be stong and able to deal with everything. I talked to him again yesterday & he was sad & needy. I said that I thought he needed a mother & then we both realized the larger truth behind that statement.

Anyway, I am just venting now. I think I need to unload some of these thoughts because I have seen a lot of things in this family I never wanted to see. I am moving on with my life but I almost feel like I have to recover from being associated with this craziness. Does that make any sense?

-BB.


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#66471 - 06/01/03 08:12 PM Re: Sad decisions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
BB
Yes, it makes a lot of sense to me. And I'm sure my wife would agree. Well she does, we talk about this a lot now as I try to become more aware of what she's going through and been through.

Why would you know what the effects were, or how severe they could be ?
No matter how much work is done by organizations like M.S., and the Charity I work for here in the UK, the message is still not common knowledge, progress is there, but it's kinda slow though.

Thankfully we are all in a far better position than our parents generations were, and both survivors and their partners can find the information if they seek it

And that level of information is critical to a partner.
I can't begin to imagine how my wife felt when she found out that I acted out. I told her the reasons as I saw them, but there was always a chance she would reject my reasons as excuses and just think I was a dirty old perv !
Without the voices of other survivors saying what I said, and relitively easy access to those voices through books and the internet, she might well have believed I was the only person in the world like me.


And Marc is also right, men live under the 'macho' image, and with all the distortions we have mixed up with that we can behave in some very extreme ways.
I believe the womens movement has done much good over the years, it's certainly made the subject of rape something that's commonly read about in womens magazines. Where the hell is the mens movement ? our magazines are still full of fast cars and sport.

There's still a huge amount of ignorance about male SA out there, but I know that people like yourself who believe us, are willing to support us and stand up and be counted alongside us, can and do find out everything they need to know.

There's no limit to my thanks for all the partners who stand alongside us.

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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