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#68216 - 11/09/03 11:24 PM an "almost" affair
tschirret Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 20
My partner confessed a few weeks ago that he had recently made a pass at a young male intern who was crashing at his place for a couple of days. “I was very drunk, nothing happened, it lasted only 15-20 seconds” or “ a few minutes” (or more??? I am now wondering). My partner said that he is convinced that it is linked to having being sexually abused by a male member of his family in his childhood and / or teen years. In our ten years together, he had only mentioned the SA twice, and in passing. Since telling me about the intern, he has also told me that many years ago, he had had a very short sexual affair with another guy. “It was”, he says, “ a case of two very lonely guys who had just moved to a place where they did not know anybody, and who happened to share an apartment”.

The pass scared him (and me) enough to seek help and find a therapist for the first time. We agreed that it was absolutely necessary for our relationship to be healthy and to keep growing. He has been going for a few times and seems to be very positive about it. In the meantime, I too have gone back to a therapist whose client I was 3 years ago and who knows me very well.
While I admire him to have had the courage to go to therapy, I am beginning to be very frustrated by the way it seems to proceed. My partner talks to me - in general terms- about his T sessions, and it seems that the pass is hardly ever mentioned. It is however all I can seem to talk about with my therapist. But we cannot make much progress unless my partner accepts to share with me whatever light he is able to shed on it.
I feel betrayed and threatened by the pass. I feel that I am not getting the full picture. My partner has said repeatedly that he is not physically or sexually attracted to men, nor to the intern in particular. Standing on the outside, I cannot figure it out, it does not make any sense to me. To me it HAS to be sexual.
I would love to hear the thoughts, guidance, of male survivors and of women who are the partners of male survivors on this.
Many thanks, for setting up the web page, and thus giving us a safe space. MN


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#68217 - 11/10/03 12:12 PM Re: an "almost" affair
gryffindor Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
Dear Tsche,
__________________________________________________

My partner confessed,
__________________________________________________

Your partner of 10 years trusted you enough to confide in you. He thinks of you as his best friend, as well as his partner in life. Is he your best friend? If he is, then trust him. If he isn't, then why are you together?
__________________________________________________

it lasted only 15-20 seconds” or “ a few minutes” (or more??? I am now wondering).
__________________________________________________

Why does it matter to you how long it lasted? He did not get anywhere near to having sex with the intern. Either you believe your partner, or you don't. Does your partner have a habit of lying to you? If he doesn't, then you don't need to worry that he's lying now (or fudging the truth). If it is your experience that you can't rely on your partner's word, then why are you with him?
__________________________________________________
My partner said that he is convinced that it is linked to having being sexually abused by a male member of his family in his childhood and / or teen years.
__________________________________________________

Your partner is telling you the truth. The experience he has recounted to you is very typical of men who have been SAed. The only difference is the many are unable to stop themselves from going through with the sex.
__________________________________________________

In our ten years together, he had only mentioned the SA twice, and in passing.
__________________________________________________

I assume your point here is that since he only mentioned his SA twice in 10 years and only in passing, that you think his SA affected him very little, and he is only using his SA as an excuse to explain the "pass." Typically men who have been SAed manage to repress, dissociate, or completely deny the SA, sometimes for decades. A man may abuse alcohol and/or drugs to supress the abuse. However, SA affects men very deeply, and many may reproduce the SA by "acting out" or symbolically representing it in some way. Sometimes this appears as the SAed man being very controlling.
__________________________________________________

The pass scared him (and me) enough to seek help and find a therapist for the first time. We agreed that it was absolutely necessary for our relationship to be healthy and to keep growing. He has been going for a few times and seems to be very positive about it.
__________________________________________________

What a wonderful partner you have. I must warn you, however, that you should not expect everything to go smoothly all the time. There can be very unstable times, when a man is overwhelmed with memories, has terrifying flashbacks, and nightmares. Sometimes a man may discover that he's unable to have sex with his partner without remembering the abuse. When that happens, he will either stop having sex with his partner altogether or have it only rarely. If you read through the posts in the Male Survivors public forum, you will begin to understand the extent of the suffering that recovery often entails. It's very painful, not only for the survivor but also for the people who love him -- hence this forum. There are informational links on the MS home page that will help you gain further understanding of CSA, SA, and how it affects men.
__________________________________________________

While I admire him to have had the courage to go to therapy, I am beginning to be very frustrated by the way it seems to proceed. My partner talks to me - in general terms- about his T sessions, and it seems that the pass is hardly ever mentioned.
__________________________________________________
The pass is only a symptom of a much deeper problem. In and of itself, it isn't very important. The important thing is that it scared your partner into therapy. He obviously doesn't want to make another pass at another man again, drunk or sober. The relationship he has with you is his priority. Try not to expect him to tell you the details about his therapy. It is a private matter. If he has an alcohol or drug problem, he needs to address that too. Some of the survivors here go to AA meetings in addition to getting treatment for their SA.
__________________________________________________

It is however all I can seem to talk about with my therapist. But we cannot make much progress unless my partner accepts to share with me whatever light he is able to shed on it.
I feel betrayed and threatened by the pass. I feel that I am not getting the full picture. My partner has said repeatedly that he is not physically or sexually attracted to men, nor to the intern in particular. Standing on the outside, I cannot figure it out, it does not make any sense to me. To me it HAS to be sexual.
__________________________________________________

This is the heart of your post. It is obvious that this pass scares you so much that you fear your partner is bisexual and wants to have affairs with men. Let's imagine that your partner made a pass at a female intern who was "crashing" at his place. Would you have the same level of fear of betrayal and threat, or would it be more, or less? Only you and your therapist can deal with your answers to those questions. You seem to want your partner's assurance that he is not sexually attracted to men. Yet when he gave you that assurance, you didn't believe him because it didn't "make any sense" to you. Very little about SA and its emotional after effects makes sense. It's irrational. Although, sometimes there is logic to the behavior. For example, sometimes by "acting out" the past SA in the present, survivors are attempting to control the past SA. Of course, it's hopeless. The SA itself never makes any sense to the survivor. He may spend a lifetime trying to make sense of it, wondering if he is gay, worrying that he did something or said something or looked in some way to make a person or people want to abuse him. SA does not, by itself, determine a man's sexuality. If a boy was going to be gay or bisexual, he will be. If a boy was going to be heterosexual, he will be. However, it is not uncommon for a man to undergo a period of doubting his sexuality one way or another. This happens to an SAed man no matter whether his perpetrator (perp) was male or female. (Yes, women abuse boys and teens as much as men do.)

If you want your relationship with your partner to have a future, you have to trust him, as long as he's dealing appropriately with his SA in therapy (and he has a good therapist). He can't shed anymore light on the incident with the intern than he already has. Actually he has shed more light than most. Many men simply would not have told their partners anything about it. Your partner confided in you. Leave it at that. His SA and his therapy are his private business. Try to let go of your need to know every detail of every feeling and every incident of every event. After reading a few of the posts in the MS forum, you may discover that you really don't want to know any more than what your partner can easily and freely tell you. And, again, that may be all he has to tell. Love and trust your partner. He deserves it.

Mary

_________________________
"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

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#68218 - 11/29/03 01:30 AM Re: an "almost" affair
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I do not know that it has to be a sexual attraction. I do not have any sexual or romantic attraction at all to other men. But, having said that, there is a type of attraction toward other men, especially older ones. I think maybe I am looking again for a father. My father was evil. My coach, he was like 'father figure' to me after my father had left our family, and he was evil also. I have never had a relationship with a true 'father person' or even someone who is as 'older brother'. I do have some male friends, some very close male friends, who are mostly close to my age, a little older then me. One is ten years older then me, and I suppose that is like 'older brother' kind of thinking. But I have met some friends here who fit into the age type that they could be like father figure at me, and I feel close to them. That is what I wish for, and have missed.

I do not know that is how it is for your partner, I am just explaining of myself. I wish you both luck, and good luck with him in therapy.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#68219 - 12/01/03 12:48 PM Re: an "almost" affair
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:


Typically men who have been SAed manage to repress, dissociate, or completely deny the SA, sometimes for decades. A man may abuse alcohol and/or drugs to supress the abuse. However, SA affects men very deeply, and many may reproduce the SA by "acting out" or symbolically representing it in some way. Sometimes this appears as the SAed man being very controlling.

*snip*

Very little about SA and its emotional after effects makes sense. It's irrational. Although, sometimes there is logic to the behavior. For example, sometimes by "acting out" the past SA in the present, survivors are attempting to control the past SA. Of course, it's hopeless. The SA itself never makes any sense to the survivor. He may spend a lifetime trying to make sense of it, wondering if he is gay, worrying that he did something or said something or looked in some way to make a person or people want to abuse him.
I really needed to read this this morning. I try and have tried to understand, explain, rationalize, and after years of trying to do so I often just put it into the "it is what it is and that's what it is" category and stop trying to analyze something that defies any analytical capabilities in my own brain.

As long as a) my partner is working on his SA and addictions issues and b) he is not abusing me or anyone else and c) he is open to healing, growth and change and d) he is not active in his sexual acting out and e) he periodically demonstrates his demonstrating his committment to me and the relationship, I really dont have much to complain about!


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#68220 - 12/01/03 05:33 PM Re: an "almost" affair
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
tschirret
That kind of 'thing' is something many of us arrive at - in desperation, and it does scare the crap out us.

Unfortunately for me I was winding myself up for this experience by fantasising solidly for days on end, and inducing an adreniline rush that made me 'invincible' - and the danger associated with my high risk acting out added to the rush and overcame the fear. But I wasn't in any way dealing with what I now know to be abuse at that time.

Back then I just though I was a sick perv and that sex with strange men was just another avenue to explore.

If your partner IS dealing with his abuse, however tentitively, then I think he will have had enough crap scared out of him not to go back to that very scary place
Confessing to you must have been so hard, how scary was that for him ? I don't think he'll go back.

Not with your support.

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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