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#66620 - 10/30/06 11:20 AM Re: New here, new to this, Need Help!
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Hi Katherinew,

I'm sorry you're feeling lost still. I imagine that you're probably still in a state of shock about the infidelity and all the associated feelings/thoughts that will bring up for you. You have (so far) decided to be open about exploring the possibilities of continuing this relationship with bf, despite how hurt you must be feeling, so you sound like a strong person \:\)

I'd say it's very positive that he was so honest with you about meeting up with those women, but not sleeping with them. The fact he didn't feel confused 'in the moment' has got to be a good thing! Also, I can see that there already seems to be a relatively healthy level of communication between the two of you, and you can probably take the praise for that. You insisited he told you what was going on when he kept rejecting you. You were clear minded and trusted your own perceptions enough to be able to do this. Also, although it must not be at all pleasant to know, his honesty about moving in with you bringing back feelings of living with his sister is at least honesty. I do sense a level of honesty here which I wish me and bf had had/had now. I wonder how much I remind bf of his own sister, as I can see some similarities myself and it has been worrying me. Anyway, that's me and this is about you!

I think that you have a lot of positives you can build on. Has your bf had a therapy? It could be a good idea for both of you. I wish I'd been brave enough to confront my bf about his many odd behaviours years ago then we could have both been in therapy, I think it would have saved me a lot of mental/emotional confusion. If you do choose therapy though, allow yourselves to be very fussy about who you choose/what kind of therapy they deal with/if that resonates with you.

I hope things continue to improve between you and you don't feel too anxious,

take care

peace
Beccy


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#66621 - 10/30/06 05:26 PM Re: New here, new to this, Need Help!
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear K,

I’ll try to give you a quick response to your question, “why do I stay?” (not very quick, as it turns out, sorry)
We’ve been together, dating, for 2.5 years now; we've been talking around the issue of marriage for some time. Perhaps we will feel strong enough in the next few months to take the next step. I hope so, actually, and I think it's likely.
His disclosure came just over a year ago. I think I am the first person he told apart from his therapist. He lauched a "trial balloon" a couple of weeks before he really told me what had happened (in outline), and I guess my response to that was calm enough for him to feel comfortable proceeding.
But I don’t know why I stayed long enough to find out, really. We talked about that the other day, he and I: considering how awful his behavior was on a regular basis, there’s no obvious explanation for why I would have stayed, other than hope. He would take off relatively often with no warning and no explanation for days at a time. I found out from his son (who often didn’t know what was up, either) and from one of his oldest girlfriends, who was an ex as well, that this had been a pattern for years and years and years. (BTW, he’s in his early 50s and I’m in my late 40s.) That used to be torture for me, and if I had been more self-preserving I probably would have left. Shortly after his disclosure, I discovered evidence of his recent interaction with other women, which devastated me. He reassured me that these were old attachments, not active now, but it still hurt me deeply and I am not yet sure of his veracity in this regard. But somehow, again, we muddled through.
After he had not disappeared for several months, then he did it again last month, and I was very, very close to giving up altogether. His latest disappearance was what pushed to communicate with people on this site, though, and this source of support has helped. Therapy has also helped: we each have individual ones, and we started seeing one jointly last May, after an especially egregious violation of confidence. (He stood me up at one event so he could go to another, solo; I found out from other people who were at the event, and that was a humiliating experience.) I insisted that we find someone to talk with, otherwise I couldn’t continue. We have done well with that, although we are not at all “done” with the process. It helps keep us focused on what we each want, and what we need to do to make it possible for us to flourish, separately and together.
Being a survivor myself also helps, though I wouldn’t recommend seeking out that source of commonality if you haven’t already endured it. (a feeble joke, I hope you’ll accept it.) I can, although it’s difficult, empathize with his own internalized anger, and understand some of his behavior as something separate from me, and in fact something that grieves him not to have more control over, because I believe he sincerely does not want to hurt me—except on very, very rare occasions. This disappearing habit is outside of his volition in many ways, a protective mechanism that may have outlived its usefulness but is still a recourse in times of stress. I get it, even though I don’t like it, and sometimes I can actually tolerate it.
This is all very backwards, actually, because the compensations and adjustments we have gone through still don’t explain why I stay. But I’ll address one more area before I try to speak to your question more directly. I see improvement over time. It’s not always up, but it definitely trends that way. He works very hard at his recovery. He apologizes to me when his behavior hurts me. He sometimes makes direct amends (he’s getting better at that). He steadily assumes more responsibility for making our life together more comfortable for both of us. (He is de facto living in my flat, with me and my younger daughter; their relationship is still under construction, but it is improving too.) He does chores and he contributes financially. He continues to try to communicate as clearly as he can, and most of the time he does very well. He has been there to support me, usually, when there have been major crises in my life. There have been two (other) life-changing ones during the time we have been together, plus my continued under-employment, and he was a rock during them, utterly wonderful.
OK, now I will try to explain why I stay, but I may not get far because this is really very intimate—even if I am more or less anonymous! \:\)
He is the only man I have ever known with whom I feel comfortable being my whole self, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually; we’re working on the physically, but that’s coming along…. He encourages me to “be big” as I encourage him likewise. We laugh together every day, which means that I am capable of being unreservedly funny with him. We know each other’s deepest secrets, fears, and longings, and we honor them. I feel greatly honored, in fact, to have his confidence on the level that I do. It means a lot for survivors to trust someone enough to be honest with them. We recognize each other—we SEE each other clearly and unflinchingly. We do have similar politics and similar faith, and these are important elements that contribute to our solidarity, but the differences between us are still a source of fascination and stimulation. Our touch is healing to each other, a source of comfort even in our toughest times. We have a sense of adventure together that continues to inspire us, despite the difficulties of our current circumstances. I am proud of him, and he of me. He is a man of great capacity, truly, and it is a great pleasure to be supported to grow into my own gifts just as he is fully developing his.
I can’t imagine my life without him; the connection we have is as cosmic as the one I have with my children (different grounds, similar comprehensiveness). He says the same, and I believe him. I didn’t know it was possible to feel this strongly about anyone else.
I do get scared, still, on a semi-regular basis: I have trouble trusting my judgment, because I want so very much for this relationship to work and fear that I am trying to talk myself into believing that it will/can/is. But this is one way that joint therapy helps in particular, so we get some external affirmation for our struggles and our accomplishments.
When things are good, they are FABULOUS, in other words, and so, yes, it is worth the struggle—it is an opportunity even more than a challenge. I am SO PROUD of how hard he is working to become whole again. It is the least I can do to respond in kind, by exerting myself to continue with my own journey toward maturity and integration.
Again, good luck to you in figuring out for yourself what you are willing to do.
Honey Girl

_________________________
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

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#66622 - 10/30/06 05:50 PM Re: New here, new to this, Need Help!
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london


_________________________
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#66623 - 11/01/06 05:00 AM Re: New here, new to this, Need Help!
katherinew Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 16
Loc: lala land
Thank you all for truly taking the time to reply again. Your answers were all beautiful and inspiring. Funnily, I can say much the same about my bf, and those are very similar reasons that I am willing to stay.

I heard from him the other day which was wonderful, he was with his parents for the 1st time in almost 2 years, he sounded happy. We talked briefly about things, and as is to be expected there is much we need to sort out before we can know if we are going to even try to continue together when he gets back (in 3 weeks).

I also know that my own past has given me a tremendous amount of strength to endure hardship (like I said previously I am not a survivor of CSA) but I had my own traumas at a very young age. In many ways, although I didn't know for the 1st 10 months, I do feel our shared history of painful childhoods enables us to *see* and *feel* things with each other and in general more deeply. I guess I can say that I am no stranger to struggle and the very source of my own pain is also the source of my strength.

I think the main issue that stands in his way is whether or not he is truly ready to have a family. He always said that he wants children, but has also been very certain that he is a long way off from ready.

The fact that I am 33 and he is 35 is a big concern for him because as he puts it, he is afraid to 'waste' my child bearing years only to decide he doesn't want a family afterall, and then it will be too late for me. I have tried to assure him that although I do want a family, that wouldn't be a reason for me to leave him.

He also seemed to be overwhelmed with the decision of whether or not he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and again I have assured him that's not a decision that must be made right now. He has even admitted to me that all the pressure comes from himself, not me, and I don't know why he is so occupied with the need to DECIDE, but these are the things he says he needs to sort out. He also said that he is 'may not want to burden me with everything that comes with his abuse and the sorting it out".

I think I've gone on a long while. Anyway I'm doing my thing, and learning to be patient.

I read a great quote the other day, "The reward of patience is patience". And that really struck me as so true. Because I guess in loving ANYONE no matter what their lot in life, requires ongoing patience, and in my willingness to continue loving him I realize there is no 'quick fix', not for him, not for me, not for anyone.

But a partner to stand side by side with you and walk through it all is the best way I could imagine living.

Oh well.....time will tell.

_________________________
Kat
* *** *

"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly." - Sam Keen

"To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten." - Anonymous

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