Newest Members
Won'tGiveUp, sillyputty, Pytbull, manipulated, donmarks
12383 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Beluga (64), Isreal101 (65), Phil Sober (41), phil1973 (41), Teddy Bear (63)
Who's Online
3 registered (RyanW, skyguy, Matt195), 32 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12383 Members
74 Forums
63644 Topics
444478 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#66873 - 06/02/05 04:44 AM yet another new friend of a survivor
Cupcake Offline
Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 39
Hi everyone. I've been reading posts on this website for a very long time now, but I have never posted before. The time has finally come for me to talk. I've read so many of your posts, I feel like I've known some of you forever.

I am the closest friend of a survivor. He disclosed to me almost 5 years ago; I've known him almost 8. I love him very much, but despite mutual attraction he has refused to move our relationship to a sexual relationship. It's a complicated story (aren't they all?). In the shortest version possible, it goes like this:

1) we meet and are friends; we flirt regularly but he kept me at a distance for a while
2) then he made sexual advances and proposed a sex with no strings relationship
3) that didn't appeal to me at first, so we tried that briefly, after all we are consenting adults, but it was not what i really wanted at the time
4) after a period of time of being just friends again, and no sexual relations, i confronted him and wanted to know why he kept me at such a distance; there was this wall beyond which i could not go emotionally.
5) in that conversation, he disclosed to me his abuse. he said then, and maintains today, that he has never trusted anyone else with this.
6) in the instant he told me that information, everything clicked. i spent hours reading and learning and educating myself. everything i read--it was him--i read his life story everywhere i turned. his insomnia, his PTSD, his trust issues, and other things just suddenly clicked into place.
7) from there, i promised myself and him that he had a friend in me forever. i am forever an optimist, idealist, and i realized i have been very lucky in my life to have had a stable, safe, and normal childhood. and i am not a selfish quitter.
8) so after he disclosed to me, he became somewhat distant at first; he began dating a lot and decided to fit in socially with the rest of our peers professionally, he needed to have a girlfriend and be in a relationship.
9) his "girlfriend" is submissive, and knows he has cheated on her in the course of 4 years (not just with me, but others); he controls the entire relationship. it's about him alone, and he does everything to make her end the relationship. he tells her he does not want to be married. she still stays thinking he will change his mind. he always does just enough to keep her around, because after all, even though she does not live with him, he uses her for certain purposes.

10) when he first told me he was dating her, i was pissed and felt betrayed and a fool. in the end, my belief in love and friendship kept our relationship in tact. i always knew that i would be around longer than the "girlfriend." after all, i would always have known him longer. and he really didn't care about her. i would always be the one he was honest with and who knew him better than her. and i also believed that if i cut him out of my life, it would just prove him right--that there is no such thing as unconditional love; and that he was not a good person deserving of a healthy relationship; and that all the reasons he didn't trust people were valid because if i abandoned him, he was right to stay in a shell.
11) so our friendship grew; i dated others (never all that seriously), but never did i feel for anyone as i did for him emotionally. and even when i dated others, our relationship was always strong, and constant.
12) now, it has only strengthened. here we are 4 years later. we have had a few sexual encounters, but they have been somewhat random and spread out over time. we support each other in every aspect--professionally we both work very hard. in fact--he is a workaholic; very ambitious and devoting his whole life to his career. i know that often SA survivors do this--they go to extremes and can be workaholics. i interpret it as he avoids his life, his emotions, and his pain by throwing himself into work, among other things.
13) so my relationship with him--he still has the girlfriend--yet we spend more time together than he does with her. and we always have a fun time. it is comfortable, it is warm, it is honest, because we know each other well and share everything. he is my best friend, and i am his. whenever he needs something, he calls me. and vice versa--he never tells me no for anything i need help with. he is truly a good friend and person. he knows how proud of him i am, because i tell him. i know he is proud of me too, because of how he brags about me when we are out with others.

whenever we are together, because of our obvious closeness, and how we know each other, and spend so much time together, people always assume we are a couple. it hurts when, i wish we were a couple, and i have to hear him say, "no, we're just friends." i hate that our relationship is minimized to that phrase. because i know for both of us it is so much more significant.
14) six months ago, on the way to a black tie christmas party, we ended up on the discussion of us. purely by accident. and he said to me--if i were going to be hurt by continuing our friendship because i wanted more and he would not commit to more--then he would be willing to let me go to keep from hurting me. he insisted that he loved and cared for me, but apologized because he didnt think he could love me the way i wanted to be loved; he didn't want to hurt me and insists the best thing for me would be to continue the beautiful, unconditional friendship we had. because he knows he will just hurt me as a boyfriend. by the way, we went to the party and had a blast as if nothing had happened; when we got back into the car, the conversation picked up right where we had left off before the party!!).


15) so at that point--i was devastated and told him i deserved more than he was giving me. and i didn't mean giving to me materially. he agreed. the things i want from him cannot be bought. i decided then that if i cut him out of my life, just like he again offered me to do--i would prove him right about his belief that there is no such thing as love.

16) and in the course of a few days, during which i was digesting and thinking about our talk, he surprised me with a very extravagant gift--mind you, he had never bought me anything before like that. don't misunderstand me--he is always the perfect gentleman, opens every door and pulls every chair and pays for every dinner. but a gift that required thought or effort--never happened.

17) we had also travelled a few times together--shared a bed--and nothing sexual happened on those trips. so now, six months later, we have spent even more time together; we are closer than ever mentally, emotionally. and we take another extravagant trip together. he insists on the trip as a gift for me because, he says, he wants to do something nice for me to make me happy--because i do so much for him. mind you, i can afford to pay for my own trip, but he made all the arrangements. i realize it means a lot to him to do it, so i let him. but not without feeling guilty for it.

the girlfriend does not know i go on the trip with him. she is mad that she did not get to go actually. instead, he has another mutual male friend go on the trip with us, and he is the alibi. he planned for me to sleep in my own room.

18) he invited me into his room one night, but i failed him miserably and breached his trust, because i attempted to initiate sex the next morning. we talked a lot later, and he finally--after all these years--revealed to me that he does not enjoy sex. and he again stated, he does not want to ever get married or commit to me romantically. things clicked yet again! i finally realized that the relationship we have--it cannot involve sex because he has been so hurt by it; he does not equate love and sex (that I knew already) but that i was the one person he could rely on who didn't want him for sex (since we were together 99.99% of the time without it).

i feel like i was being tested. he told me, he invited me to his room because he trusted me, and then i betrayed it. how could i be so stupid? but at the end of all this, he has again said to me that if this relationship was going to hurt me more, than maybe we should not be friends anymore. of course, he said he wants to keep our friendship as deep as it is, and loving as it is, and trusting, but that is it.

so i am here. i have never cut anyone out of my life before. never. no matter what and i do not feel it is fair to either of us if i do. we both need each other and want to share each other's lives. but clearly we both have different boundaries and needs in mind.

i am here to seek thoughts; opinions; insight. what am i missing here in all this? or am i missing nothing and paying the price for being an optimist? for wanting to see only the good and teach him that there really is something good about love? and for wanting him to realize his value? and for wanting to keep this friendship in tact?

This is so long--I apologize---so I will end this in anticipation of some insight.


Top
#66874 - 06/04/05 10:25 PM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Cupcake
I don't think you're missing anything, everything youi describe about the relationship - and his problems due to his abuse - seem to be the sort of thing survivors think.

Many of us have great difficulty in relating love to sex, I certainly do. Even after 31 years of marriage to someone I love so much I still have big problems with sex as a part of our relationship.

I find that it's hard to enjoy sex in my marriage for a number of reasons.
Firstly there's the flashbacks, for many years I used the memory of my abuse as a fantasy when having sex, or I fantasized about doing 'gay' sex acts as an adult - "now".
But now that I have been through therapy and more or less sorted out my problems that the abuse caused me, I can't use those fantasies any more, they not only don't 'turn me on' any more, they have the opposite effect, just a brief thought of my abuse, or the sexual acting-out that I did as an adult with other men, kills all passion stone dead.

I still have problems with being touched as well, and that includes passionate kissing, it just gives me instant flashback.

So sex for me is a very inpersonal affair, I prefer a position where body contact is at a minimum, and once 'over' I usually feel guilty or dirty and move away. Not much fun......

I think he might feel some of these feelings, and in some way realise it, so he 'might' be protecting you from the hurt.

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

Top
#66875 - 06/04/05 10:50 PM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
Cupcake Offline
Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 39
Hey Lloydy....thanks for the reply. I guess one of the most confusing and frustrating things is this. We have the relationship that he claims he cannot have. In the sense that he has committed to our friendship, and honesty, and trust. The missing element being a physical relationship. And he has with me what he pretends to have with his "girlfriend." Yet he hides the strength and value of our relationship, and not the "girlfriend." I believe that if there was no girlfriend in the picture, which is in my opinion an unhealthy relationship for him, that it might help me in this friendship. I have some ideas about what I think her purpose to him is. He doesn't say much when I ask. But I have told him before that it hurts me that he pretends to have a "girlfriend" to the rest of the world who he doesn't care about. And that he pretends to be just friends with me, when he says he does care about me. Ironic, isn't it, that he pretends to have nothing with me when he has it all, and has nothing with her when others assume it's everything? Of course, most people are not stupid-they recognize that he has nothing with her and a lot with me, so they too are as confused as I am! \:\) At the end of the day, I know he does care about me and has his own way of showing it. I like your idea on the board elsewhere that he and I should talk about what we both want and need and set boundaries together. Right now though, he doesn't want to talk anymore about this. He told me to let him know where he stands so he can protect me and himself. That is the first and closest he has ever come to admiting he is afraid of me.


Top
#66876 - 06/04/05 11:15 PM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I want you to know that you've been heard, although I've been taking some time to think about the best way I can reply to you.

What keeps coming back to me in your post is shame.

Lloydy talks about feeling guilty or dirty, they are feelings that are common to survivors. Many survivors carry giant burdens of worthlessness and shame around with them for years, then "act out" behaviors that will increase the burden just to reinforce and prove to themselves that they deserve to feel so bad. Healing starts when a survivor can start letting go of some of that feeling, or at least push it to one side long enough to look out-- when a survivor can realize that the way he's feeling isn't good, isn't normal, and can be changed.

If you want to honor your friendship with this man, and see him heal and grow stronger with your support, the best advice I can give you is to close the door on shame. Don't allow the behaviors that make him feel bad or guilty to have any place in your relationship with him AT ALL. Make your relationship with him a safe, healthy alternative to his destructive life, rather than a part of it.

Quote:
and i also believed that if i cut him out of my life, it would just prove him right--that there is no such thing as unconditional love; and that he was not a good person deserving of a healthy relationship; and that all the reasons he didn't trust people were valid because if i abandoned him, he was right to stay in a shell.
If you initiate or accept a sexual relationship that he has to hide with alibis, or that he does not enjoy-- if you sacrifice your own feelings and needs to the point that he sees that his involvement with you is hurtful to you-- if he's giving you a string of constant apologies about his shortcomings-- All of that stuff is getting in the way of showing him that he deserves a healthy relationship and that he is safe to come out of the shell.

On the other hand, "cutting off" your relationship where it involves participating in or condoning his self-defeating behaviors could actually show him that he has the right to expect and ask for a better deal.

The best thing that I ever did for myself and my relationship was get very serious about what I would and would not allow in my own life-- including where my boyfriend was concerned.

If you think you are being tested, back out of the test.
If you know sex makes him feel bad, don't get sexual with him.
If he starts the self-defeating conversations about how terrible he is for you, redirect or end the conversation.
Insist on healthy stuff for yourself and for him where he is in your life.

I am sorry if that sounds harsh or less than hopeful. I do wish the best for you and your friend and I hope that you will keep reading and learning here.

SAR


Top
#66877 - 06/05/05 08:10 AM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
Cupcake Offline
Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 39
Hi SAR,
Thanks for your thoughts. I have been thinking about what you said, and I don't disagree. What you say actually confirms my thinking....for example you said:

"If you want to honor your friendship with this man, and see him heal and grow stronger with your support, the best advice I can give you is to close the door on shame. Don't allow the behaviors that make him feel bad or guilty to have any place in your relationship with him AT ALL. Make your relationship with him a safe, healthy alternative to his destructive life, rather than a part of it."

This is so true. I have strived hard for this, and our relationship has grown much over time. The one thing that I feel gets in the way is the relationship with this other girl which is not healthy--it allows him an outlet for manipulation, control, and revenge. He knows I won't take the crap from him that she does. So he uses her for the doormat and waits for her to decide she won't take it anymore and leave him. Which then gives him a reason to feel more guilt and shame. I believe that he has to end the relationship with her--to eliminate this unhealthy behavior. Of course, I cannot make him do it. It must be his choice. This is a guy who says he has done therapy and this is it--these are just things he has to deal with that won't change. Unless, in my opinion, he wants to. Life is a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. So if he believes it is all cold, and bad, and that he must be alone and isolated, then he will be. Just like he says to me he will cheat on me, hurt me, and be a bad boyfriend. I say, not if you don't want to be those things. I believe he would be better in a relationship with me than he believes he can do himself. Again, it's his choice to make, not mine. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

It really boils down to how do you love someone who believes himself to be unloveable? And is there really unconditional love? How can my love for him be unconditional, if I am asking him to do certain things for me in return? These must be things he has thought of; I know I have.


Top
#66878 - 06/05/05 09:53 PM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
no-one Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 2
Loc: calgary
Cupcake, I was once in Rod's room while he was shovelling the snow and he had a pile of books by his bed for his job, he's an oil and gas engineer and he had a notebook beside it so when he said look at my books while I'm ouside and you'll know what I do for a living, so I picked up the notebook and found it was his journal instead. I couldn't help myself..after the beautiful night we had including all the fearful behaviours he had I kept reading. Inside it said this...."I wish I could love myself again and know there's something good about me inside. I wonder if I could love myself again....and...I wonder if I'll ever feel unconditional love or if it's even possible to receive unconditional love. In the meantime I'm alone."unquote... I cannot tell you how happy I was to have opened that book it gave me an insight into his feelings. It happened so innocently too. I noticed that the only times he really opens up is when I look him in the eyes and gently speak softly. Like me cupcake you really feel love and aren't giving up and I too am this way. For all I care he can vent,cry,throw up on me and yell but you know what he never has and if he ever does then I'll love him more for being himself. I guess his pain cries out to me in ways that aren't expressed in words. All he has ever said was that he was in a healing process that would take a lifetime. But he never said what it was yet. He also took a break saying he wouldn't get in touch for a week because of a healing process then, that was 2 months ago. It's been a month and he still hasn't contacted me. I am 42 he is 46.But I know if he doesn't like something he says so but this time he hasn't said anything. It all happened after I told him I love him. He was loving, open, kind and then 2 days later nothing. I asked if he has ever been loved like this before...he said never. If I could only speak to him again..after reading books and this sight I would be prepared to hear him out. Thanks for reading this long one.


Top
#66879 - 06/05/05 11:31 PM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Cupcake
Quote:
So he uses her for the doormat and waits for her to decide she won't take it anymore and leave him. Which then gives him a reason to feel more guilt and shame.
Maybe that's what he gets from her, the guilt and shame he ( still ) believes is his place in life?

Maybe, your place in his world is somewhere above that, somewhere that for him is out of reach. Something he doesn't deserve because you're far too good for him?

Maybe, through his previous therapy he's arrived at a pretty good place and he's a lot better than he was, but possibly there's one final hurdle to overcome; the link between sex and love?
That's a major hurdle for so many of us, even after years of therapy and a loving partner that understands and is willing to help

Like 'normal' people we want to have sex, we know that it's very pleasurable because people ( the media etc ) tell us so, we might also have enjoyed sex at some time. Unfortunately, the sex we're most likely to have enjoyed was during the abuse.
We were young, and sex was new and exciting - or at least it SHOULD have been. But even while being beaten abusers will tell us "you're enjoying this"
It's like training dogs.

Guys like me have rebelled against that training, we no longer accept the lies we were told.
But subconciously we still seem to have some remnants left, and they reduce sex to little more than a physical release, sex becomes little more than masturbation with another person involved.

It's a horrible place to be, and it still scares me at times. I can say to my wife "you make the first moves, let's try that" - so she does, and I get feelings of someone combining sex and power, which is exactly the same feeling that I get if I initiate sex - then I feel like an abuser.

The link we have to break is the sex and power one, and replace it with sex and love.
If you find the answer, let me know.

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

Top
#66880 - 06/06/05 03:23 AM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
RockyMtJoe Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 97
Loc: East of Pueblo, Colorado
Hello and a welcome to a Commonwealth and UK poster: I maintain many contacts in the UK. Mostly work related "BBC" and what family I have in Wales.

Guess I could have not let others know I celebrate Saint David's Day :p

I have been through what I am reading before here.
I went as far as to give my wife a list of what is OK and what is not it helped. If you know who I am you know I post on the "Gay" area more.

I know one of the moderators may have a hint or two. I am also a psychologist and nurse. I recall in the 1978-85 era those events called "SAR" Sexual Attitude Readjustment?

They were for counselors and therapists. Very "liberial" and shocked some to the point they walked out.

My speciality was ooops, had best leave that out as someone can ID me with that alone.

So the Mrs has a list and it helped, trouble is we did not follow up with counseling, so the list shrank over the years. I am not the only guy here that was "gay" for years then married a woman.

I suspect I was just "asexual" neither gay nor straight and certainly not bisexual. Just abused.
So I have had a long marriage. Still have friends that are Gay and Lesbian. My wife has family with the same issues so she was a real good find for me. She is also a "health care professional".

I think I have a few ideas but no answers.

There was a Joni Mitchel song and it was a Tom Rush creation back in the late 60's "Tin Angel"

The key line, lyric was "try and put another heart in him". Damage goods, broken boys and such.

I'll find the words and post tonight for you.

Rocky Mountain Joe


Top
#66881 - 06/06/05 03:33 AM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
RockyMtJoe Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 97
Loc: East of Pueblo, Colorado
For Cupcake:

TIN Angel


Varnished weeds in window jars
Tarnished beads on tapestries
Kept in satin boxes are
Reflections of love's memories

Letters from across the seas
Roses dipped in sealing wax
Valentines and maple leaves
Tucked into a paperback

She says she'll throw them all away
She found someone to love today

Dark with darker moods is he
And not a golden Prince who's come
Through columbines and wizardry
To talk of castles in the sun

Still, she'll take a chance and say
She found someone to love today

She sees the sorrow in his eyes
Like the angel made of tin
What might happen if she tries
To place another heart in him

In a Bleeker Street cafe
She found someone to love
She found someone to love
She found someone to love today

Words & Music by Joni Mitchell
Copyright 1967 Siquomb Publishing Corp


Top
#66882 - 06/06/05 04:06 AM Re: yet another new friend of a survivor
no-one Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 2
Loc: calgary
Cupcake..I forgot to answer a question you had about who initiated sex between us...it was him. I was afraid to incase I was too forward and always let him do that.OHH..except the last night I saw him. It was after I told him that I love him and he was so wonderful about it and started to open up and was so different in the way he behaved...so kind and open. That night I laid down beside him and held him then I thought he might want to make love but he didn't move an inch so I got up from bed and put my clothes on and he jumped out of bed and for the first time ever heard him yell.."Allright if you really want to go home I'll take you then!!!" I just told him I wasn't going home just wanted my clothes on so I wouldn't want him so much..he breathed a sigh of relief and held my head in his hands and said.."Dear I'm really tired and need some sleep" I told him he could have just told me that right off the bat. Of course this was after a 6 hour drive that day. A day where I decided to spill my feelings for him. I thought I was doing something loving and kind so he would feel like I opened up to him. Like I said he was so kind after I told him. He showed me baby pictures and family photos for the first time ever and he showed me family momentos and he made supper for me. And for the first time ever he put his head in my lap...that was always a big no no for him.


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.