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#67339 - 08/13/03 12:31 PM Why stay?
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Partners,

Why do you stay with a survivor? My wife is not happy about me working on recovery. She was not happy that I hid the abuse from her for so long. She was not happy with the emotional handicaps I brought into our marriage.

So, why do you stay? From what I see, there's no reason why she will stay. What motivates you to stick it out after all the crap that led up to the disclosure, the crisis, the whatever?

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbrokenÖ"óThe Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#67340 - 08/13/03 03:40 PM Re: Why stay?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Oh, God, Joe, my heart goes out to you.

Maybe you don't want to hear from me or other survivors here because, after all, you did post this for spouses.

I can't imagine that she's carried the entire responsibility of the family without any help from you.
Besides, she can't be without problems of her own that I'm certain that you're sensitive to.

Listen, this is the stuff of great marriages.

In just the short time that I've known you, I find you to be a loving, compassionate man and father.

What's going on with you two is called transition.

Geez, I mean, thank God that you're addressing these issues and history in your life. If she thinks that the next guy will not have any problems, is she in for a surprise.

But more than that, it's times like these, when people stick with each other, that the real rewards of life can be found.

Does she need a weekend alone with you? Would that help?

I know that you've talked about other issues and I hope that we will be able to talk about some of that.

But, for now, here, you've got my support for what has to be a scary and maybe disappointing time for you.

I've probably got the one in a zillion for a partner and she's certainly been that. But don't think that we didn't need that counseling this past year.

Maybe I'll try to get her to post something, here, in this thread about spouses, partners staying with us.
Hang in, my good friend, help is on the way in the form of this site and your brothers here.

Strength and Courage to you, I'm praying for you as I sign off. I'm also going to suggest to my prayer chain that they remember a good friend of mine who needs their prayers for an understanding spouse and a strong marriage; no names, Joe, the Guy up there will know.

Your humbled friend,

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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#67341 - 08/13/03 06:20 PM Re: Why stay?
LovingPartner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 26
Joe-
Great thread! I bet many survivors ask themselves that question. I can answer your question simply by using one word: LOVE. (I can also name a few lesser reasons like we wouldn't want to start over, but such is not my case.) We love you. We didn't fall in love with our partners because they were abused, we fell in love with them for who they are. We put up with all the "crap" because you put up with our crap. Always makes me think of something Jeff Foxworthy said. "Moms will clean up stuff that would gag the Roto-Rooter man." ;\) (Nobody's perfect, we all have crap of some sort.) We love you so we want our lives to be better. So we stay, and work through the things that make life unenjoyable. And by working through those things together, we become closer and grow to love you even more.
Don't get me wrong, I was pissed when I found out that my hubby hadn't told me about it at the very beginning of our relationship. (at least he told me before we got married, right?) But then he explained that he didn't want to tell me because he was afraid that I would leave. I stifled my anger and looked at it from his point of view. I'll never completely understand what he (or any of you guys) went through, but I do everything I can to help. I know nobody can do it alone. I see the strength you all show by posting your stories here, and I admire that strength. (Hope that didn't come out wrong.) I hope I answered your question. Feel free to ask anything, anytime. Best of luck to you.
Loving Partner


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#67342 - 08/14/03 01:57 AM Re: Why stay?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
This is Ranata. I'm David's wife.

I'm very thankful for this site. It has given stength and peace to my husband, David, and in so doing, to me. I knew when we married that he had suffered childhood sexual abuse. I was naive, I didn't know what impact it would have on our life together. I didn't know that it would prevent him from obtaining satisfying work. I didn't know that it would sometimes stimulate anger and distrust of me and our daughters. I didn't know that he was constantly stuggling to feel worthy of living this life, after what he had suffered at the hands of a perverted middle school teacher. All I knew is that he was an interesting, volitile, loving person and that I wanted to live my life with him.

Over the years, I have to confess that I often felt like a martyr, that I was the only one holding the family together, emotionally and financially (that's my hangup). But through his pain and doubt, eventually David would always make me feel like I was the most important person in the world, that I was exciting, beautiful, competent and all that was needed.

I suffered with (what I considered) undeserved anger and sarcasm from time to time. But I "stayed" for several reasons. I stayed because I felt it was my responsibility to provide stability to our daughters' lives. I stayed because of my marriage vows. But more importantly, I stayed because I was married to a very intersting, spiritual, sexy person, one whom I loved. In the heat of anger or pain, I have often had to remind him, "I'm not the enemy, I'm the one who loves you."

Although I'm stuggling with my own spirituality, I sincerely believe that God is watching over us. He will make all things good for us and for our family. I'm sure he has that in mind for you and your family as well.

Ranata

_________________________
"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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#67343 - 08/14/03 02:42 AM Re: Why stay?
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
I have to answer this from the point of view of one who is probably not staying. But I'd like to. As lovingpartner pointed out, I love my bf, I love him for who he is, which is not in spite of the abuse, but including the abuse. I wish we could have a relationship together and get past the issues that the abuse puts between us. The only reason I'm not doing that is because he doesn't want me to. He isn't committed to working things through with me, so I have to move forward for myself. I would gladly work things out & deal with this aspect of our relationship if he wanted to. My willingness or desire is based on a good understanding of the issues SA brings to a relationship, so I have to say that it really isn't related to my decision to stay or to move on. I do believe it is related to his level of commitment, however. So in a sense it is the cause of the failure of this relationship, but not the basis for my decision.

I think that work on the relationship often ends up being the woman's responsibility because of traditional roles we are taught. That leads to women having the tendency to feel the need to address the problems we see & try to 'fix' them. That leads to women sounding like they are continually complaining or seeing bad stuff, which can make it seem like they are really unhappy in a relationship. Often, in reality they are working on it because it is so important to them that they want it to last. It is kind of like preventative maintenence. This is a overgeneralization of how the situation can play out, but you get the idea. I just got off the phone with a friend who is just starting to date someone & she is already looking for potential problems to fix -- not because she hopes to avoid a future with the wrong guy, but because she wants to be sure to work on it so that it WILL have a future. These days women don't view their relationships as 'jobs' so much, but I think that some of those roles still affect the way we interact.

I don't try that hard myself -- I've come to a point in my life that I think we'll both notice if something is not right between us. Some things need discussion & some things don't. What is hard for me is when I simply state something that I feel & my bf takes it as a directive instead of showing understanding. (sort of the opposite of the scenario above) I recently told him some of the things that were making me feel unimportant & he said "I guess I'm in trouble". NO! He isn't in trouble, I am expressing MY emotions. ME, ME, ME!!! So much of our time relating is about his issues, his problems, his mood changes, his progress, his physical ailments, his thoughts about whether to work or retire, etc, etc. I think he forgets I have feelings of my own. So I bring it up & he thinks it is about him! All I really want is a listening ear & the understanding that my feelings are valid.

I guess what I am saying is that I think lovingpartner's statement is the underlying reason anyone would give for staying with someone. There are so many different dynamics that affect how that works. You BOTH bring issues that will affect how you react to the stuff that comes up day to day. I don't know if what I've written about here relates in any way to your relationship, it is just what I know lately.

-BB.


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#67344 - 08/14/03 09:32 AM Re: Why stay?
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Thank you all for your help. Each of you has made important points, things I can apply in my life now and in the future.

Susie and I talked a lot last night. Some of this is probably just insecurity on my part. I needed some reassurance that her disgust with the abuse (she hates the perp) and the strain on her patience (I spent a long time hiding this and hiding from it) weren't going to drive her away. I want to be healthy and whole, for myself, sure, but also so I can share all that I am with her.

It seems that having all the "crap" build to the point it did, battering our relationship as it grew, really wasn't the best way to prepare us for me to start the healing. I wish I had enough sense to work on this years ago. "If wishes were horses, beggars might ride." I need to play the cards in my hand today.

I have some hope this morning. Thanks for your kindness. Best wishes, and prayers, to each of you and your own partners.

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbrokenÖ"óThe Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#67345 - 08/14/03 11:15 AM Re: Why stay?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Joe: for me there are several reasons why I stay:

I love my BF. He is my best friend. He was my best friend from 1974-1979 and he has been my best friend again since 2001. We've been through so much togehter - both before and after the abuse. He's the first boy I ever kissed! No SA can ever erase how much I love him or how sweet he *really* is!

I am also a survivor of abuse - not sexual but emotional and verbal and psychological. My BF's SA experience has made him one of the few people who is able to see the "real me" through the "reactionary me" and put up with my crap (and call me on my shit) as well. We both have the ability to see through each others' pain and try to understand each other. He has real advice for me based on his own experience rather than just going "Duuh I dont know what is up your ass" like the rest of my previous boyfriends. My BF KNOWS what is wrong.

Things are not perfect but my BF is working on things. I live with the hope that if he continues on the path he is on that things will only get better for us.

My BF recognizes and reassures me that things won't "always be this way" that over time, we'll heal and be better able to live happier and easier lives. Over the past two years things are already heading that way. Also we are both committed to our healing and to getting professional help when we need it. We dont try to deal with this shit alone. And knowing that my BF is not only open to therapy but has actively sought it for both him and me makes me feel that this cannot but help "working out" in the long run.

I realize that not everyone has gone through SA, but EVERYONE has some crap or baggage to carry. There is NOT ONE PERSON on earth that doesn't have their tough sides, their challenges and their weaknesses. Just "leaving" and finding someone else to be with is not that easy (it seems easy but it is NOT). I've been in enough relationships to know that even with the SA my BF has great qualities and really is a great guy. What's important is that my BF is working on things and working ot make things better, which is a hell of a lot better than a lot of people out there are doing with their lives.

My BF's SA has made him much more aware of suffering in life - and particularly what we women suffer when we are treated like "just a sex object". Most or all women out there have been treated that way at one time or another in our lives. As my BF was molested by a man he is one of the select few men on earth who knows EXACTLY what it feels like to go through that. And that is a powerful bonding experience.

My BF's recovery has caused him to discover all kinds of great things about life - instead of focussing on making a great living, making lots of money and doing all the thigns that piss women off ("he's never home, all he cares about is his job!!") , he focusses on inner peace, meditation, natural healing, spirituality, and just the power of spending quality time together with someone he loves. Its like his abuse has made him really understand just what's important in life.

I'm also a pretty tough and independent person. When my BF is able to share then that is great. We share. When he is hurting, I can and do find other ways to feel good about myself and spend my time, until such time he's feeling better. I also dont give him an INCH when he is dealing crap at me - and I'm not shy to tell him when he's dealing crap and being a jerk!

I also have a strong faith in God. I believe that God has put my BF and I together for a reason - to help each other heal and finally create a loving healthy relationship for each other. The night we re-met after 21 years by accident in the local grocery store we both felt the presence of a higher power. I dont think that we should spite what God wants for us - which I firmly believe is for him to help me through my crap and for me to help me through his SA!!!!


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#67346 - 08/14/03 11:35 AM Re: Why stay?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by outis:
Susie and I talked a lot last night. Some of this is probably just insecurity on my part. I needed some reassurance that her disgust with the abuse (she hates the perp) and the strain on her patience (I spent a long time hiding this and hiding from it) weren't going to drive her away. I want to be healthy and whole, for myself, sure, but also so I can share all that I am with her.



Outis: I think most sane people recognize that nobody can be there for someone 24/7. And that when someone is going through stuff it is even harder to be there most of the time. But as long as someone is trying then that is the main thing.

Also as far as "disgust" at the abuse - I feel nothing but love and empathy for my BF. I am disgusted and horrified by the PERP and what he did to my BF who was a sweet, innocent teenager seeking advice about love and girls, and this fucking disgusting man took advantage of that. But in NO WAY does what happened to my BF make him who he is! He was totally innocent in what happened - someone took advantage of him and in NO way is a victim ever responsible for the crime! Perhaps that is clearer for those of us who have not suffered SA - that we can see that there is absolutely NO responsibility on the victim's part for what happened. it is 100% the fault and responsibility of the perp.

In fact when I was told of what happened to my BF early on in our relationship, I just held him and let him cry on my shoulder - I felt nothing but love and empathy. Not a shred of disgust.

Quote:

It seems that having all the "crap" build to the point it did, battering our relationship as it grew, really wasn't the best way to prepare us for me to start the healing. I wish I had enough sense to work on this years ago. "If wishes were horses, beggars might ride." I need to play the cards in my hand today.



Outis - but you are at a beautiful point in your relaitonship - now that you have all these realizations, and if you are committed to working through them, I firmly believe you will be closer to your wife than ever before, and that you will no doubt soon turn a page to a wonderfully loving phase with your wife.

Every time my BF and I get close to the "breaking point" and we get help and get through it, we are closer than ever before and I love him so much more. It is truly amazing.

I am glad that what was shared has helped. Peace to you this weekend!


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#67347 - 08/14/03 11:56 AM Re: Why stay?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by outis:
Susie and I talked a lot last night. Some of this is probably just insecurity on my part. I needed some reassurance that her disgust with the abuse (she hates the perp) and the strain on her patience (I spent a long time hiding this and hiding from it) weren't going to drive her away. I want to be healthy and whole, for myself, sure, but also so I can share all that I am with her.



Outis: I think most sane people recognize that nobody can be there for someone 24/7. And that when someone is going through stuff it is even harder to be there most of the time. But as long as someone is trying then that is the main thing.

Also as far as "disgust" at the abuse - I feel nothing but love and empathy for my BF. I am disgusted and horrified by the PERP and what he did to my BF who was a sweet, innocent teenager seeking advice about love and girls, and this fucking disgusting man took advantage of that. But in NO WAY does what happened to my BF make him who he is! He was totally innocent in what happened - someone took advantage of him and in NO way is a victim ever responsible for the crime! Perhaps that is clearer for those of us who have not suffered SA - that we can see that there is absolutely NO responsibility on the victim's part for what happened. it is 100% the fault and responsibility of the perp.

I do on occasion get very tired and angry and depressed and frustrated dealing with the effects of my BF's SA in our lives (and my own abuse on our lives), but that has NOTHING to do with who my partner is. He is a loving and wonderful person who I love with my whole heart. And in ANY relationship - SA or not there are definitely times when we all wonder if our partner will be sticking around tomorrow or he or she will be gone - I think thats a normal, yet unpleasant part of relationships - there is always risk and from time to time, that twinge of insecurity in our hearts.


Quote:

It seems that having all the "crap" build to the point it did, battering our relationship as it grew, really wasn't the best way to prepare us for me to start the healing. I wish I had enough sense to work on this years ago. "If wishes were horses, beggars might ride." I need to play the cards in my hand today.



Outis - but you are at a beautiful point in your relaitonship - now that you have all these realizations, and if you are committed to working through them, I firmly believe you will be closer to your wife than ever before, and that you will no doubt soon turn a page to a wonderfully loving phase with your wife.

Every time my BF and I get close to the "breaking point" and we get through it, we are closer than ever before and I love him so much more. It is truly amazing.

I am glad that what was shared has helped. Peace to you this weekend!


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#67348 - 08/14/03 06:33 PM Re: Why stay?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
What is hard for me is when I simply state something that I feel & my bf takes it as a directive instead of showing understanding. (sort of the opposite of the scenario above) I recently told him some of the things that were making me feel unimportant & he said "I guess I'm in trouble". NO! He isn't in trouble, I am expressing MY emotions. ME, ME, ME!!! So much of our time relating is about his issues, his problems, his mood changes, his progress, his physical ailments, his thoughts about whether to work or retire, etc, etc. I think he forgets I have feelings of my own. So I bring it up & he thinks it is about him! All I really want is a listening ear & the understanding that my feelings are valid.
Oh I'm guilty of doing that ! All too often I'm so wound up in my own loop of problems I miss what's happening all around me.
And I know how much it pisses Linda off. So I feel guilty, which makes me worse, and on it goes.
Linda sees it as well, and hides her 'pissed off' mood from me so I don't get upset. But eventually it breaks out.

Quote:
I'm also a pretty tough and independent person. When my BF is able to share then that is great. We share. When he is hurting, I can and do find other ways to feel good about myself and spend my time, until such time he's feeling better. I also dont give him an INCH when he is dealing crap at me - and I'm not shy to tell him when he's dealing crap and being a jerk!
And this IS the way to deal with it, it is for me.
I just need to be told when I'm a jerk, I won't be offended because now I understand pretty well well why I'm being a jerk at that time. I just won't admit to it and give US the chance to sort it out.
I'm still a bit stuck in going it alone, or not wanting to unload more crap on Linda.

I often say here that we share everything, and we do. But it's often after the event. And it's a patch up job then, and also I don't seem to learn that quick. So when the same things happen a few weeks down the line, she has every right to be pissed off with me.

I know I have to make the big step of saying that I need some support WHEN I need it, some of that "preventitive maintainance" - not "firefighting maintainance"
That would go a long way to a better relationship.

We've survived this far because we love each other, always have. And we feel that our relationship is worth making an effort to improve. And at one point - save.

Another factor I think is important in this discussion is that we as Survivors can, and do, change quite dramatically as we go through our recoveries.
We regain ourself esteem and pride, hell - I even started to shower daily :rolleyes: - so we do become different people to the one our partners first met. I know I've changed a lot, and people I haven't met for years have commented on it.

So there's a chance that our partners might not like the 'new' man in their lives.
Perhaps we've become more assertive, changed interests ( I have ) and these are big changes for some people to accept.

David - Outis - says his wife Ranata is one in a zillion, and so is Linda.
But it doesn't mean that we don't wind them up, frustrate and neglect them.
I don't do it intentionally, I used to ( but that's another story, old problem, picking fights to make myself feel bad ) but I "know" I do it.

Sometimes I'm confused...........

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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#67349 - 08/15/03 02:02 PM Re: Why stay?
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Man, am I there with you on this one.

Back in the good 'ole days, they used to say, "count to ten," before firing back or opening up with somekind of barrage of rockets and granades in verbal response.

I think that it could help me. I think that I'm on somekind of two nanosecond fuse.

"What did you say?"

And, instead of waiting for an explanation or response, I'm off to the races with rage in my heart and eyes and voice.

God, I must scare her to death.

My baby, my heartbeat, the love of my life, I must scare her to death.

I've never hit her, but my words must pierce her heart.

We did get some counseling this past year and it was discovered that I can't argue some points and have to have some distance or I lose my self control. I have asked for and gotten some distance, sometimes, but Ranata is a much better debater than I am.

People didn't debate or argue when I was growing up. The fangs came out and it was a fight to see who could hit whose jugular first. I spent most of those times crying and wanting my family to stop the hurting and fighting.

Now, when I'm old enough to know better--I AM THE ADULT--but still stuck with some issues, I should really adopt the "count to ten" rule, before responding, instead of reacting like I'm being attacked.

OK, all together, now...1...2...3...4....5...I'm feeling more calm already.

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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#67350 - 08/15/03 04:30 PM Re: Why stay?
Marcs friend Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 16
Loc: Maine
why stay? why stick it out? after being lucky enough to find the right person to be with, why leave? A partner doesn't fall in love with An Abused Person. A partner loves a person who has been abused, along with everything else that has happened in his life to make him the person he is today. Is it so heroic for a partner to stay with someone who's been badly disfigured by a burn, or paralyzed by an accident or an attack? (It's not just physical - there are deep emotional scars that go along with that too.) It all becomes a part of the person. and the reason for staying is called love. pure, simple, unconditional. Acceptance. Understanding that at times we cannot understand, but trying anyway, because we care. Knowing that sometimes we will be pushed away (due to your anger, disgust, fear, ??), but hearing the young innocent child crying out "please stay with me and hold me" at the same time you are saying "go away." It's not about lying or being secretive by hiding what happened - it's about being afraid that if someone important to you knows what you did (or, more accurately, what was done to you), they will know that you are bad and will leave you. There is so much courage and trust involved when you finally decide to share what happened - they need to appreciate that telling a partner is so hard -and brave - to do. If they love you, they will stay while you work through the demons - and maybe help along the way. When someone is working on recovery, a partner can feel abandoned. Life becomes all about the victim. Well, it has to be that way. The abused person is the one who needs to heal. It's his turn now. But there are things partners can do. They can listen when you want to talk, sit silently when you want to not talk, see that you get home safely when you drink too much, sit beside you while you're in this web site, let you have fun, tell you that you will be OK. While abuse is a horrible thing, it's not a reason to walk away from someone you love. Please give yourself a break - and try to allow yourself to be loved.


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#67351 - 08/16/03 03:38 AM Re: Why stay?
Polly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/03
Posts: 4
Loc: uk
Why stay?

  • Because I still love him
  • Because he is still the only man I have ever loved
  • Because he is still my hero
  • Because he is still kind
  • Because he is still good
  • Because he is still strong
  • Because he is still sensitive
  • Because he is still a good husband
  • Because he is still a good father
  • Because he is still a good provider for his family
  • Because he still likes teddy bears
  • Because he still makes me laugh
  • Because he still makes my heart skip a beat when I know I am going to see him
  • Because he's still sexy
  • Because he still cares about people
  • Because he's still patient with me
  • Because he's still my best friend
  • Because he is still everything to me....


Just because he's in a bad place at the moment dosen't mean that he has stopped being any of the above.

I will wait until he comes out the other side.

Because he's worth the wait.


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#67352 - 08/16/03 05:32 PM Re: Why stay?
MM Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/03
Posts: 59
Loc: Canada
I can relate to that too. Iím too way demanding and needy and even when my gf is tired or not feeling well, I still want her full attention and feel betrayed when she canít be with me that moment. I know thatís wrong and Iím being selfish, but I still do it.

I have asked myself many and many times: why a woman like her would stay with a man like me? Iím still trying to figure that out and fully understand it, but the only answer I can get is that she loves me and thinks Iím worth it. And Iím working hard to keep that way.

Joe, your wife does love you too, maybe she just needs some time for herself, I know my gf needs it and doesnít get it so often. All this shit is much more difficult for our wives than it is for us.

Take care; youíve been a good friend to me.

Mark


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#67353 - 08/16/03 05:56 PM Re: Why stay?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
How about this, I'm quoting myself now !

Quote:
Oh I'm guilty of doing that ! All too often I'm so wound up in my own loop of problems I miss what's happening all around me.
And I know how much it pisses Linda off. So I feel guilty, which makes me worse, and on it goes.
Linda sees it as well, and hides her 'pissed off' mood from me so I don't get upset. But eventually it breaks out.
This problem came to a head last night, and Linda expressed her point of view quite strongly.
I spend too much time and effort on 'myself and other survivors'

She doesn't want me to stop, or even ease off. She wants me to devote the same effort into our relationship. And I have no argument against that.

She fully appreciates that what I do, I need to do, and she often says "do whatever it takes, I'll support you"
But, she deserves the same, if not more, effort in making our relationship better. Let me correct that - WE deserve..........

It's so easy for me, and I think many other survivors, to get wrapped up in ourselves at the expense of thos we love. We take our loved ones for granted, we shouldn't.

I had a good ass-kicking last night, and I have to admit I deserved it.
But in my defence ( here come the excuses ;\) )
I have to say that I / we are still learnig a lot. There's a whole lot of things to do with 'relationships' that are either bent out of shape or were never learnt when I was growing up.
And 45 + is a hell of a time to begin learning.

So I took my ass-kicking in the way Linda intended it, as a reminder that I have to continue moving forward.
It's no use me thinking that because I no longer act out, I fantasize / masturbate less, I have fewer flashbacks, less depression and all the other positive things I've achieved; that I can sit back and think "if this is as good as it gets, that's ok by me !"

If I can get this far, why the hell can't I get all the way ?
I couldn't think of good reason why not, and neither could Linda.

Onward to the future then.

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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#67354 - 08/17/03 08:52 PM Re: Why stay?
orodo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
wish my wife could come here and put in her two sense worth, since she's the one who couldn't "deal with it" anymore and then I moved out to make it "easier" on her and the kids....

Peace

Orodo

_________________________
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

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#67355 - 08/17/03 11:38 PM Re: Why stay?
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
ditto to what Orodo said.

maybe not. i don't know, i'm confused.

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#67356 - 08/19/03 12:02 AM Re: Why stay?
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
I wanted to reply to the last two responses because I think this hits on why we need to have the family & friends forum here. The interpersonal issues affected by SA are huge. In my own case, it has been a real struggle to understand what are SA issues & what are really issues between us.

The struggle to offer him support & care for myself is not easy. If I am hurt because he quits talking, for example, even if I understand that these are his issues there has to be a line somewhere to keep myself healthy. It really hurts & while I may know that it isn't about me, it is still personal. He isn't not talking to everyone, just to me.

When the SA first became apparent, we woke up together & I tried to give him a hug. He yelled at me, called me names & ordered me to let go. Up until that time we hadn't had any major issues -- just the typical disagreements about dinner in or out or that kind of thing. Nothing of any consequence. Neither of us was aware of the SA, so it was terribly shocking to see him suddenly nasty for no apparent reason. He left the room & I cried. When I finally came out, he was completely unaware of what had happened. I told him & he didn't remember any of it.

In retrospect, it all fits & makes sense given the abuse. At the time it didn't.

I guess what I am saying is that I don't think there is a clear-cut way to handle things. If he did that every day & I lived with him I'd probably think it best to move out just to protect myself. Not because I think he intentionally hurt me & not because I don't wish from the bottom of my heart that I could take away the pain he's going through, but because I could be hurt & I have to be OK or I can't support him at all. How can he control it if he doesn't even know it is happening? It isn't about my feelings for him or his intentions at all.

The day-to-day stuff can be much more subtle than that. Nowdays, I think that as he struggles he creates more distance just because he doesn't feel in control & he needs a sense of control to go through the healing process. From my end, it feels awful - he doesn't want me around except when he wants me around. I end up feeling really rejected & useless.

I guess I'm trying to say that the love a partner feels isn't necessarily less just because they make steps to have some distance from the SA. Also, my family & friends think that he is mean and uncaring. So my support structure is in favor of me getting him out of my life completely.

I haven't made that radical of a change in my relating to him, but I have pulled back considerably. Even if I love him & know it is SA causing the problems in the relationship, there is so little I can do to help. I do and have done everything I can think of. I don't think he is mean and uncaring, but he does seem to be incapable of recognising or addressing my needs within the relationship.

If his rage is directed at me, he has to deal with that. If he creates distance & turns warm/cold, he has to deal with that. If he can't talk with me about my problems at all, he has to deal with that. I end up feeling powerless because these are all issues he must face for himself. What good am I doing him by arguing about it or asking him to change? It just makes him feel worse. I am not a therapist & I don't know how to change those internal learned emotional responses that the SA created in him. He IS working on it & I hope that we will end up together after he gets through some of these problems. I'd love to hold his hand through the process -- many of lovingpartner's responses talk about ways of doing that -- but he doesn't want me to. Maybe he feels to exposed or maybe it is just not safe for him to show that kind of need. But whatever it is, in my particular situation I think giving him room to find his way is the best that I can do for him.

I sincerely hope that when he is ready to have someone else close again that we can work things out together. I love him more than anything & it breaks my heart not to be with him.

I feel anger & rage at his perp. I want to protect him from the people who he has let walk over him because of his low sense of self worth. I wish he could understand that love doesnt' hurt you like that. And I don't blame him for any of it -- he is trying to heal and move forward & that is all anyone can do. But given the way he treats me, there has to be a line between support and abuse & if I allow myself to be the sacrificial lamb to his abuse issues it isn't healing anything, just destroying my life & giving him something else to feel bad about.

Well, that got long winded. I hope my reply here doesn't seem too negative. I don't intend it that way. I just don't think that this is a case where the 'stand by your man' attitude is always the best course of action for the well-being not only of the individuals, but the future of the relationship as well.

-BB.


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#67357 - 08/19/03 02:56 AM Re: Why stay?
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
And now I am going to put in my sense worth -- for about about a buck three eighty,
Stand by your man -- even if its from afar --
I am the A FAR, woman right now who stands by her hubby#2
I have to, when he told me he had committed a sex crime, I had to go for ME, because I am worth every bit of ME and then some.
I have a twisted sense here being a survivor of SA myself along with all the other abuse that goes hand in hand with it. But in all retrospect my leaving has been the best thing for HIM with his healing process.
HOW? well first it caused him to "flood" his memories, then it pushed him to seek counseling for himself. Jeezus What a Freaking relief!
I thought standing by him was givng him space until he was ready -- well sometimes READY needs a big fat PUSH over the top. He did it to himself when he crossed the line from survivor to healing.
Rather EXIsting to Healing -- now we have our fights like we've never done before and me?
Well, I am learning to become...
To BEcOMe a Woman, a real stand by ME woman.
Thats all any of us can do is to choose our own battles and fight them on our own. Sure we can surround ourselves with the best possible support groups going, therapist , friends family etc. But each of us still have our own fucking night mares to deal with...
I geuss when my mother in law said "What ever happened to "stand by your man? " I had to SCOFF very loudly as it came spoken from a woman who had divorced her husband yrs ago and abandoned her children to a private school and left me and the new relationships to clean up their messes as well as the new ones WE created and got into...
So I stand from A far, not knowing how it will turn out, ... Hell if there is an ENd to Healing how come I'm not there yet?
I geuss most of me doesnt ever really want to ever "Heal completely or Get Over it" why? I'm afraid if I do, I'll forget and if I forget then WHo becomes the NEXT sacrificial lamb? MY KIDS? SOMEone ELEs's kids? not worth it to me, so I'll go on being the martyr in this process of learning for those who need to leaarn to treat victims , survivors, partners etc.... I'll be the experiemental rat ... I've paid the price of admission no one else need pay again.
I stand from A far , recognizing his goodness and the SOuL I married some 15 yrs ago. The one he never could see, but is beginniing to see thru the filters he has on right this moment. I stand and watch and sit beside him at times as he "gets it" and we celebrate a break thru, and I stand from a far and praise God I am thru the worst of my own the bullshit from during the healing.... hell maybe there is more worse down the line I dont know... but I am not afraid of "IT" anymore.
I'm happy FOr him when he has a good day, and sad when his days are long and tedious -- yet no different than if he had not been abused either. Damn it, the abuse has made it harder but it HAS made the celebrations that much SWEETER too....
I know I am rambling.... but not sure where this is coming from other than, I stood close by and he didnt heal, when I left he began to Heal... so maybe I was toxic? NO, not toxic just an excuse for him for the time so as not to have to work his own bullshit from the abuse.
Absurd as this may seem I am glad he is finally FEELING HIS OWN PAIN and not mine, and Finally feeling HIS OWN SUCCESSESS not mine...
so from A far I have done more good than bad for him...
and yet there are the lonely nights and sometimes days when we need each other and we remain a phone call away during those times ... we bring truth to the old song
"I'll come running"... and we do
With best Love and Peace to Fill us All
Sammy


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#67358 - 08/19/03 11:05 PM Re: Why stay?
LovingPartner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 26
I know a lot of my responses incline toward being there for your partner and holding his hand, but sometimes that doesn't always work. There are times that hubby wants time alone and times that I want time alone. So we give that time to each other. I walk beside him and hold his hand because that is what he wants, and often needs. Many of the survivors here have expressed the need or desire of a supportive partner or friend, and that is what I encourage. (It seems to be the case for many survivors.) If not walking the long road with them step by step, to a least let them know you're there if and when they feel they need you. Everyone needs time alone at one point or another. When hubby or I want time alone, we try not to take it personally. I know sometimes that is hard to do, especially when we are hurting. But love is just as strong as hate and pain. . .


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#67359 - 09/18/03 04:31 AM Re: Why stay?
Marcs friend Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 16
Loc: Maine
I agree - except that I think love is much stronger than hate or pain - when it's offered with unconditional acceptance of the other person. There has to be the feeling of 'I love you and I'm here for you no matter what' that the survivor can accept and trust.

but it sure isn't easy


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#67360 - 09/21/03 07:45 PM Re: Why stay?
lindts Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 26
Last year before my SA bf confided in me, life seemed perfect. Recently he confided in me about the SA and life has been turned upside down. But I refuse to leave him because I love him and whatever good/bad things happen in life, I want him at my side. It's been extremely hard, but I try to squeeze all the happiness from all the little "okay" days that he has or even his "half-smiles" and cherish them. I wouldn't go back to the perfect days of last year because then, unbeknownest to me, we were hovering like a helicopter. He was acting happy yet living an inner hell. Now that we are on the long journey to recovery, our relationship is moving FORWARD, ever so slowly, 4 steps forward, 3 steps back, snails pace even, but my eyes are open. He loved and trusted me enough to confide in me. I don't want anyone else but him. He may not be perfect (neither am I), but he's perfect for me.


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#67361 - 09/22/03 08:09 PM Re: Why stay?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Lindts
that's so good to hear, I just wish we could spread you guys around every single survivor in equal measures.

We who have partners like you sometimes don't fully appreciate just how much support and love you give us.

It's late here in the UK, and it's time to go to bed - and tell Linda how much I love her.

( but I shouldn't need reminding should I ? :rolleyes: )

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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