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#67467 - 08/23/00 07:41 PM advice please?
monalisa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 1
Loc: salisbury,md,usa
hi, i am a 20 year old female, and i have been in a relationship with a 29 year old male survivor of child sexual abuse for two years...it's by no means easy, but we are both trying...we care about one another imensely. there are so many things i need to learn, but my question today is this...Sometimes when we are intimate sexually, he wants to say or do things that make me extremely uncomfortable. He wants me to be honest with him, but often, when i am, he ends up feeling guilt or shame, or fear that he's hurt me or scared me. i compliment him every chance i get, he is an incredible lover, but i would like to be able to be honest about my wants and feelings in bed without causing him pain. Sometimes he will comment to me that he wonders if his desires or urges are "abnormal". at this point, he refuses to seek counseling, and i haven't pushed it. I want him to know that i love him for what he is now. I myself am in voluntary counseling to try to sort out some of the emotions that our relationship evokes in me. we are both intelligent, caring individuals, and we love eachother - how much can i HELP without pushing??? any thoughts are GREATLY appreciated...thanks - ml


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#67468 - 08/23/00 08:51 PM Re: advice please?
survivor2 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 3
Yes, that is exactly my question, too -- how can I help without pushing? My situation, though, is how can I help when he is distancing himself from me (and everyone else around him)? I know he loves me, and I love him. I posted previously under the "Spouses/Partners" forum. I realize that when I was going through my healing process, the last thing that I would have wanted was to be "pushed."

Thanks for any advice you can offer, and good luck to everyone with your healing journey. It DOES get better, and it is SO worth the effort!


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#67469 - 08/31/00 07:58 PM Re: advice please?
mikeoco Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/00
Posts: 1
Loc: Lincoln
I think I understand how you feel but from the other side of the issue. I pushed my wife away when I started to deal with my abuse. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was a general movement away from people in general. I think it had a lot to do with being hurt so badly in the past by someone close and supposedly trustworthy. It has taken a lot of effort and work to begin trusting and sharing with her again.
one thing that I have learned that might help is that there are no bad feelings. Every emotion exist for a reason, it is just a matter of discovering the "why". You said that your husband encourages you to be honest, good, be honest. If he feels guilt, shame or fear talk about it share feelings on both sides. Maybe you should both back off physically until the emotional is in order. I'm babbling sorry. Anyway try something that involves both of you. Anything less will not work. Love, mike


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#67470 - 08/24/03 09:40 PM Re: advice please?
Green Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC, NY
Monalisa,

Speaking from the point of view of a survivor who has been married for 32 years, it might be time for you not to be so worried about being pushy.

My wife and I were both leary of going to a therapist so we went together for the first few sessions. That way the "family" got to know each other. One way of being "pushy" is to invite him in for a session with you and your therapist to break the ice. You are allowed to have a little edge in your voice when you make the suggestion.

Green


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#67471 - 08/25/03 12:19 AM Re: advice please?
LovingPartner Offline
Junior Member

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

I am married to a survivor, and we have been dealing with recovery and all the issues for a while now. If he won't go to counseling, there are a few options. At least he acknowledges he was abused and it's affecting his (and your) life. That's the first big step. And your counseling is a big help. Being supportive can be very very hard at times.

I guess I should tell you what I did. I got my hubby to talk to me about the abuse first. (you know just what happened, and when, etc) Then we started talking about how he felt, his fears, worries and such. (Might help to talk about this with the lights off or just candles, or with you both back to back) He was so scared that he was a freak or something. So, I started doing research on SA and its effects. I read till I fell asleep at the computer! I would bookmark good links and pick up books and read. I even read the messages on the message boards. Eventually he got curious and started asking me little questions. (Is this normal? etc) I answered them as best I could. We would often discuss the information I had found. Then I showed him all the links on the computer and told him they were there if he wanted to find out some stuff on his own. (He is up SUPER early.) Finally he started looking up some of those links. He even joined one of the message boards and posted his story. (He felt SO much better after that!) That was one of my ways of being "pushy", as Green reccomended. A "little" push is always good. (I had to push hubby a little to get him started on dealing with his SA.) Just don't get overbearing and forceful.

Tell him you are there, you love him, you will not leave, and you don't think he's wierd. You are a kind, loving, and understanding person. You want to help as much as you can. PM me anytime for suggestions or ideas if you feel you need them.

Hoping things get better.
LP


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#67472 - 08/25/03 04:42 PM Re: advice please?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I've moved this post here solely to keep the forums as they were intended, and this post sits here better.

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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#67473 - 08/25/03 05:52 PM Re: advice please?
Green Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 115
Loc: NYC, NY
Monalisa,

I've been thinking about your post throughout the day so I'm hear again giving advice that would probably be wise to ignore.

The consequences of being a victim are huge and fareaching. One of the consequences is that any relationship that the victim enters is colored by what happened in the past. The more serious the relationship the more the victim has to deal with the fact that his abuse is not only affecting him as a solitary individual, but also the person with whom he is in relationship. Withdrawing is very understandable, but it isn't fair to the other person.

Because you, as you grow more and more into becoming a couple, are more and more affected by was done to him, the decision on whether to go to therapy or whatever doesn't soley rest on his shoulders. It is the couple's decision.

Be kind but remember your rights.

Green


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#67474 - 08/25/03 05:53 PM Re: advice please?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
MonaLisa
If he's asking you to do 'sexual things' then possibly he's acting out his abuse.
It doesn't have to be the self same act that he experienced, but something about it will possibly trigger an emotion or feeling that he relates to sex as he was taught.

For many of us being submissive is something that makes us more 'comfortable' when having sex, it's a link back to the way we learnt sex at a very impressionable age.
But other things surface as well in different survivors.


One of the dangers of being an intelligent person and also a survivor is the feeling that we can cure ourselves. I don't think we can personally.
I tried for 30 years and failed miserably. But therapy has taken me further that I ever dreamed possible in about 4 or 5 years.
I still have problems with intimacy, even after 29 years of marriage, but compared to the man I was 5 years back the change is immense.

You're a good way there though, you talk, and you're having therapy. So maybe hearing about your great experience in therapy will persuade him.

I hope so.

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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