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#67404 - 08/22/03 11:20 PM My ex and counseling
estrada Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 2
My ex boyfriend has revealed the abuse of his childhood. From around the age of 4 until sometime in his preteens, he was abused by a teenage female relative. He described their relationship as him being her "toy". She made him participate in and observe her and others in sexual situations. He was not allowed to play or do other kid stuff unless favors were traded. The abuse ended with her unexpected death. I am the only one he has confided in. \:\(

My ex recognizes that his past has profoundly impacted his life and his relationships. He believes his promiscuity, deceitful behavior (extremely charming ) and other traits can largely be attributed to the abuse. He said that he doesn't know if his sexual desires are his own or because his abuser desired those gratifications.

He shared all this with me because he felt he owed me an explanation (not an excuse) of his behavior during our on again - off again 5+ year relationship. We want to try once more but I feel counseling is needed.

My observations:
He says and feels the same about counseling but I don't think he has the strength to put his words into action. He has a very negative perspective about life and people. It's difficult for him to dedicate his energies for prolonged times to anything other than his job because of the uncertainty of people. He has a government job because of the career stability and strict laws governing hiring, promotions, pay and such. He abhors uncertainty, surprises, the unknown, etc. He has to be in control. He has very little patience in social situations.

What can I do to help him feel comfortable enough to seek professional help? I want us to be a couple again but we can't unless he's able to cope with the bad stuff (memories, temptations, slow pace of progress).

Thanks for "listening".


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#67405 - 08/23/03 10:04 AM Re: My ex and counseling
martin Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 229
Loc: The Good Earth
Estrada,

I think the best you can do is to let him know that you will are there for him. If not as a girlfriend then as a friend. Be supportive and encourage him to talk about his past and seek help.

You can let him know about this website, here he can get support, encouragement, and educate himself about the effects of SA and how to recover. There are many supportive knowledgeable men here, as well as some excellent resources.

There is one article in particular that you may find useful. Its about how to go about finding a qualified therapist, here is a link: Consumers Guide to Therapist Shopping I'm going through the process now myself.

Maybe the two of you could go through the article together and go through the process of selecting a therapist together. Once he is in therapy his counselor should know how to keep him on the right track.

Those are just some thoughts, I'm sure others here will have some good ideas for you.

Thanks and take care,

Aaron

_________________________
Its times like these we learn to live again,
Its times like these we give & give again,
Its times like these we learn to love again,
Its times like these time & time again.
-The Foo Fighters

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#67406 - 08/23/03 10:50 AM Re: My ex and counseling
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Estrada
I'm a firm believer in therapy, especially if it's specialist SA therapy.
I just don't see how we can get anywhere without it, but some guys do though.

If the thought of losing control is putting him off then he should say something about it right up front to any therapist and a good one will work with him accordingly. Possibly laying out a structure and regime so he maintains some level of control.

I had the opposite problem - I needed to gain control. But it's not actually that much different.
I was out of control and didn't like it, your partners is in control and fears losing it.

But he does need to ask himself "what am I in control of ?"
And if he doesn't like all that he does control, then he probably has some work to do.

Therapy helps us regain full, or as near as full as is possible, control over our lives once again.
We think we can do it alone, but all we do is try the same remedy for the same problems. Somehow we trick ourselves into thinking that we're trying something new each time,and I know now that I certainly wasn't.

It was my therapist that led me to find alternatives, different ways of looking at and maybe alleviating my problems. And together we assesed them, and I tried the ones we thought might be best.
Somehow I got most of it right. And it was my thoughts - not the therapists 'cure' that did it.

I had the answers all along, I just couldn't find them on my own. And I looked for over 30 years.

I wasted an awful lot of time.

I hope he takes the plunge and goes to therapy, he'll find the right balance of control there.

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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#67407 - 08/23/03 01:11 PM Re: My ex and counseling
LovingPartner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 26
Estrada-

I am with the guys on this one. Professional help would be ideal, if he would go for it. If he's not ready for that step, encourage him to talk about it some more with you and to check out this site. (The guys here are wonderful.) There are some links for survivors here, so you can "read up" on SA and its effects. Maybe you could share what you find with him. (That's how I got my hubby to start his healing journey.) Breaking the silence is a big step; tell him you're glad he told you and you're there if he needs you.

Since he seems to need to control things, tell him he's in charge. Encourage him, but let him proceed at his own pace. All you can do is be there for him right now. I wish you both the best. Remember, everyone here is ready and willing to help.

LP


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#67408 - 09/01/03 10:09 PM Re: My ex and counseling
estrada Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/22/03
Posts: 2
Thank you all for your responses!

I haven't mentioned this board to him yet and he sort of shrugged off my counseling suggestion. We have not directly discussed the issue since a few days after I made my first post here.

I'm going to keep trying though because I believe he could be a much happier and fulfilled person once he has resolved his past and dealt with its aftermath. Once he has himself situated, then we could move on to reconciling our relationship.

He's a good guy deep inside. He can do this.


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#67409 - 09/02/03 09:09 AM Re: My ex and counseling
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Estrada ~
one time when my hubby2 was so depressed he couldnt see past the end of his nose I sat with him and had him write a list of his GOOD qualities, qualities he himself could not see.
Maybe you could write that list for your sweetie?
My hubby2 still carries that page with him some ten odd yrs later... it was a simple fast list, but to him he holds it and has shared with me at times he takes it out still and reads it..
It began rather simple and ended up staying that way, we were always going to add to it, but I geuss some things in life are meant to stay simple so we can see them easier when our vision is the poorest...
and we wrote a few of these things...

You're a kind man who helps strangers with broken cars for nothing
You're a kind man who gives our emergency blankets from the car to the homeless people under the bridge so their baby could be warm as we had no money to get them a hotel room.
You're a Super DAD who took on a 4 and a 6 yr old at just 19 yrs old yourself
You're a DAD who never yells, but TALKS to his kids when they have been naughty
You're a Kind and Gentle Lover with your Wife
You're a Good Man who works hard to support your family with a nice home and healthy food.
You're a smart man who ACE's ALL your tests at school
You're a leader even tho' you dont speak much your ACTIONS teach others
You're Good to your wife and make her coffee everyday before she gets out of bed...

I hope you get the idea Estrada -- I know that page is still in my hubby2's wallet, and if I know anything about him I know that it will remain there just as it is supposed to for him to re read when he feels the lowest of himself -- it will remain in his wallet forever.
Peace and Good Will to you ~ Wifey1


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#67410 - 09/02/03 01:32 PM Re: My ex and counseling
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
I like the way counselling is framed in this thread - as a way to find the answers and feel better in less time - or to waste the minimal amout of time getting to a better and happier place.

I find its difficult for many guys - SA or not to admit to wanting or needing help with anything.

I dont get it. I have no problem asking for help particularly if it makes my life easier.

I guess it must be a guy thing. And with respect to therapy, its definitely a "trust thing" too.


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#67411 - 09/02/03 01:40 PM Re: My ex and counseling
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
"help - HELP ??"

How many times did I say that ?

Dave :rolleyes:

_________________________
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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#67412 - 09/02/03 01:41 PM Re: My ex and counseling
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Oh something else I forgot in my last post - re: being in a relationship with someone where the relatioship has been rocky - as you probably guessed I"m in a relationship with a male SA survivor - things have been so bad from time to time I have wondered whether or not to stay. For me, the reason I DID stay was because my BF had agreed to go go therapy - has an individual counsellor as well as going to group therapy, also he has taken steps to prosecute his perp as a means to start to "let it all go". Very courageous. I am also seeing some major improvements particularly as a result of his anger management therapy. We still blow up at each other, just less often, with less venom, and a faster reconciliation afterwards.

Personally as someone who has a history of a rocky relationship with someone, I needed proof that he was really working on things - that he was putting some effort into his recovery and that our future together wont be like the past or the present (which was full of pain for a year or more..) I think that if my BF was not agreeable to therapy and if he was not putting in any effort and just doing drugs and drinking and staying in his old ways, I definitely would not have stayed. I needed proof that things were going to get better before I could open my heart up to him any more.


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#67413 - 09/02/03 08:15 PM Re: My ex and counseling
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Quote:
I dont get it. I have no problem asking for help particularly if it makes my life easier.

I guess it must be a guy thing. And with respect to therapy, its definitely a "trust thing" too.
I think a lot of it is "a guy thing" - the macho image we all like to portray. ( Because we all know what a hit it is with the girls ;\) )
But also we have survived to where we are now by using whatever came along, drink, drugs acting out or whatever.

And these things made us feel better than the crap we took as kids.
But even though we might not like the way we are 'now' we also fear the future. What happens if giving up our comfort blanket sends us bac to the hell we escaped from ?

I've just posted something on the Male Survivors forum in answer to Mike's post that explains my views on how we set up defences against change, and it seems as though many of you are up against this problem.
Here's the link.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=002399

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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