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#68369 - 11/12/03 03:58 PM Does it help?
PARTNERINPAIN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 12
Loc: WASHINGTON
Ive been reading posts here off and on for a year now. Im currently 4 months past being cut off from my survivor.
I am the only person who he ever told besides a therapist many years back. He is not on the road to recovery, but just dawdling on the path.
I miss his freindship so much, but when I finally get him to come see me, we end up having sex instead. I wouldnt mind just being near him, watching a movie, talking, playing a game, going to a park... Im always asking for that friendship that we had together. I wonder, being we both seek different meanings from sex, is it more harm than good in the long term?
I love him more than anything else, and it tears me apart to know that when I got cut off from him, he picked up another girl to have a NON EMOTIONAL relationship with. I have to block that out of my brain. How can he have a NER when she sleeps in his bed, grocery shops with him, is there 24 hrs a day Like I was for the year before...Cant dwell there.. But I wonder if his cheating on her with me, is him trying to tell me that she means nothing? or is he just treating me like trash? Is he trying to show his love thru sex, because sex isnt sex for orgasm for me, it is sex for emotional connection, for love. Ive gone on too much, and left too much out Im sure..But please Id like your comments on this topic.


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#68370 - 11/12/03 08:47 PM Re: Does it help?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PiP
from the 'short' version you give there, he sounds as though he's got the best of both worlds.

You should ask yourself what you have ?

My best friend walked out on his 'crazy' wife of 25 years last year. As he said "the pain = gain equation wasn't in my favour any more"

There's no way anyone could help a survivor if they were emotionally wrecked themselves.
Think of yourself.

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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#68371 - 11/13/03 03:40 PM Re: Does it help?
PARTNERINPAIN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 12
Loc: WASHINGTON
Thank you both for your advice.
I know this pain vs gain thing well...
I do plan on saying good bye to him. Its like an onion Ive been peeling for 4 months now...
He told me to go on with my life, he encouraged me to write the book Ive been talking about, he told me I was going no where with him, though it had only been 11 months since I got out of a controlling relationship in to a normal one.. or so I though.
Anyway, what he is doing now is so unlike the "him" I knew before we broke up. And it breaks my heart, and I always want to be there for him. But not at this mental cost. As he is not there in return.
Thanks


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#68372 - 11/13/03 06:02 PM Re: Does it help?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PiP
it's tough, but if you aren't getting anything - but 'used' - then where are you going ?

Survivors are notoriously difficult to form a relationship with, we're selfish and screwed up for a start. Add things to the list as you go along.

I only just held onto my marriage of 29 years this year by the skin of my teeth. I didn't chase other women or anything , ok I acted out with other guys - and many male survivors act out with women.
But the risk to my marriage was from me being detached from my wife, me being an arse, me not caring, - again add to the list, ask my wife what I was like - no don't, I don't need reminding.

I think that the only time we as survivors make anything of our relationships is when we fully accept ourselves for what we are. And we have to deal with the crap of the abuse to get to that point.

I was lucky, my wife stuck it out without knowing why for 25 years. And that says more about her than me I promise you.

If I started to behave like I used to once again and give her crap, I'd be out of here.
Because now she knows that I can make the effort and do the right thing ( mostly ;\) )

Nobody deserves to put up with crap, especially for no good reason.

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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#68373 - 11/14/03 05:48 PM Re: Does it help?
PARTNERINPAIN Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 12
Loc: WASHINGTON
Quote:
my wife stuck it out without knowing why for 25 years
Id love to be a Wife. He always talked about the future, plans, places, children, travel. He really wanted me to be there. but I never committed. I had just come out of a 7 yr relationship, that I didnt realize til 6.5 yrs wasnt working. I always told him I didnt know what I was doing tomorrow, let alone 2-10 yrs from now. 2 days before we broke up, he gave me a poem he had been working on named PROPOSAL. I would be there to stick it out, if he would only let me be.

You are one hell of a guy for letting your wife in.
I think that takes more strength than kicking her out of your life.

My spirits have finally been lifted these last couple of days, I think I AM finally ready to move on, and just keep my hope alive in the back of my head, and let my life be lived.
Im curious though, why its ME hoping to have him back in my life, vs HIM wanting me to be back in his life...
But alas, I have learned alot during our time together.
Thanks


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#68374 - 11/29/03 01:39 AM Re: Does it help?
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Sorry for how difficult this has been for you. I worry so much, myself, to hurt people close to me, that I love. Afraid to let them in, but also afraid to shut them out. It is very confusing. Perhaps sometime, when he is no longer 'idling' in the road to healing, he will realize that he can want you, and what you were for him also. Most important, you must remain true in yourself, and take care of yourself. I wish you well, you are a kind person.

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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#68375 - 12/01/03 02:54 PM Re: Does it help?
PAS Offline
Member

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

Id love to be a Wife. He always talked about the future, plans, places, children, travel. He really wanted me to be there.


I have been there, at least four times. And just because it doesnt happen with this person doesnt mean it wont happen with someone else. In relatioships timing is everything - and with SA timing is important - the survivor cannot be anywhere but other than where they are - and if now they cannot commit because of their own emotional pain it is NOT a recrimination or judgement of WHO you are (It took me ages to believe this about myself) but just a reflection of the capabilities of that person at this time. And if you truly want to be a wife, you have to not only BE the best person you can be but also choose someone who is available and open to that possibility. It takes two to make a marriage.

The older I got the faster I was and the better I got at deciding whether or not a relationship was going to get to the elusive "marriage". I am 33 now and engaged *finally* but that does not mean I did not bang my head against the wall with people who were survivors of all kinds of things (alcoholism, sexual abuse, etc - a LOT of peole have issues and difficult experiences) which resulted in them being less than committed, or who gave me mixed messages for years, only to have all those relationships crumble and wind up still single in my 30's...

Quote:
You are one hell of a guy for letting your wife in.
I think that takes more strength than kicking her out of your life.


I feel the same way about my past partners - that I would gladly go through any personal emotional excavation rather than losing that person. And that dumping me was the easy way out... but alas I cannot change what they did or wanted and I spent a hell of a lot of time trying to "force" the issue only to realize that there is only so much I can do and I"m better off focussing my efforts on being the best person that *I* can be!

Quote:

Im curious though, why its ME hoping to have him back in my life, vs HIM wanting me to be back in his life...


Unfortunately survivors of any kind of abuse have to go through a phase of intense "selfishness" in order to address the pain of abuse. And that phase I really think is necessary and I really am not overly confident that a healthy relationship is possible when a survivor is in that phase. Only after that acute pain is addressed somewhat can they really open their world up to looking at how they affect others.

[/QB][/QUOTE]


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#68376 - 12/01/03 05:22 PM Re: Does it help?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PAS

Quote:

Unfortunately survivors of any kind of abuse have to go through a phase of intense "selfishness" in order to address the pain of abuse. And that phase I really think is necessary and I really am not overly confident that a healthy relationship is possible when a survivor is in that phase. Only after that acute pain is addressed somewhat can they really open their world up to looking at how they affect others.
"AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH !"

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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#68377 - 12/02/03 02:41 PM Re: Does it help?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
I have been there with my own verbal and emotional abuse history too. I was such a control freak and a needy psycho-girlfriend to so many of my ex boyfriends - mind you they didnt contribute positively to the relaitonship either but until I spent years looking at my own navel I could not fathom how to incorporate others into my life in a mature and healthy way!

P


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#68378 - 12/02/03 06:57 PM Re: Does it help?
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
Dear Pip

I know exactly how you must feel right now. I wanted to share my experience. Before I met Vincent (see "survivors in love in Paris")I had met a great guy who I thought was my soul mate. It was love at first sight. What I did not know and what I discovered years later was that he was an incest survivor. We never had sex but we had that bond, that emotional closeness. I knew the real him and not the image of himself he projected in society. He was a very very handsome man and was very flirty. He had this seductive voice and that charm that drove girls crazy. Anyway after the best week we ever had together, I went on vacations and when I came back one of my friend told me they had slept together. My heart thank, I was so hurt and also so confused thinking that all that we had shared was an illusion. We broke up more or less and I returned to France and he remained in England. Me going back to France was a way to escape the spell.I tried to forget about him but could not really. We once had a conversation on the phone about "us". I told him I loved him. And I dared asking him "Do you love me ?" At first he would not answer but I insisted. Please tell me clearly "yes or no". He said kind of hesitating "no" and straight after that he asked me "why do you love me ?" He then started giving me all the reasons why our relationship would not work, he talked about him being a failure in relationship and about me being such a wonderful, incredible person (which is true \:\) )This conversation had left me really confused. What was he trying to say ?
Then I started to find about the consequences of abuse (I had a sudden flash of intuition) and it all made sense. I wrote to him about it and he replied nothing which I guess was a way to aknowledge things. Then again a few months later I wrote another letter because I sensed he was about to commit suicide. I found out that he was getting married to a woman he had barely met (though he had been going out before that with a girl for 4 years). My heart broke again because I secretly hoped he would get back to me. Gosh ! How much he made me cry !
I saw him again a yearlater in South Africa. it was the first time we would see each other with him knowing that I knew about the abuse. We talked as if we had never been apart but his eyes had a different language: he was begging me not to talk about the abuse. He was not ready and I felt it was such a brave thing for him to accept being seen under a new light. He must have felt so uncomfortable and ashamed. I was trying to say with my eyes: I accept and love you unconditionnally. While we talked , he offered to join him in Canada (he was going to move there with his wife). I was shocked and I asked him "what for ?" I made him understand that he had made a clear choice in his life by geting married and choosing another women.
After that I wrote two long letters of support, to encourage him to go to therapy and of course I told him when I had my own memories of abuse resurfacing. Only then I realized that you cannot save someone against his will. I accepted to let him go and the greatest sign of love is that I respected his path to recovery. I also had to respect my own needs. For years I was there for him but he was not there for me most of the time. I was hurt often though I know he carried a lot of suffering so I am not angry with him. Today there is not a day when I think about him. But I have learnt detachment so I pray for him to get better and I wish him a happy life. I thought that I could never love someone again but today I do. My Vincent is very different, the relationship is very different. Warren, the other guy was sort of a male version of myself, we were very similar in lots of ways. Vincent is the complete opposite of me. I love him so much. He has been through very heavy stuff with me (though he is a survivor himself in therapy). At times, he stuck with me, helped me and though it is a bit rocky right now, he is always there when I need his help. I feel much happier in this relationship because I feel cared for.
Sorry about this long story but I just wanted to say that the choice to carry on or not that relationship is heartbreaking. It is essential to share what YOU feel with your man and maybe take a little distance. It could be also a good idea to refrain from sex with him, just to show him that you care for me as much (and not that he is just good for sex). There are so many wonderful ways to be intimate with someone. Some of my best memories are doing something so special as going to the supermarket together !
I hope you will find the peace in your heart so as to take the best decision for yourself.
Much love
Caroline

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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#68379 - 12/02/03 07:04 PM Re: Does it help?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I know this sound like I'm making HUGE assumptions, but sometimes it's hard not to notice that some couples are remarkably similar in having an 'abusive' background - whether sexual, violent or emotional abuse.

And from the few couples I know, or knew - most have seperated, they had a relationship that was so intense when it was good, but the slightest problem sent them overboard into the worst violence and emotional fights I've ever seen.
It seems to me now, looking back with hindsight ( a wonderful thing ) that they were just acting out against each other.

So, what I can't figure out is why the relationships even get past the second date ?
I can remember a friend of mine fighting with his future wife in the back seat of my car - he'd only known her about five days !
It took them 10 years before they divorced, and they both remarried and don't fight with their new partners.
I now know they both came from 'difficult' childhoods, and now I also see some of the reasons for their behaviour.
But as far as I know neither has had any kind of help with their problems,or anger management even.

They say "opposites attract" - there might be some truth in that.
My wife and I are as opposite as you get in most things, and we don't even argue really.
But like two magnets, two "same" repel.

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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#68380 - 12/02/03 08:30 PM Re: Does it help?
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
You've gotten a lot of good replies here. I will just add from my own experience. My ex bf & I went through that kind of process. We were very involved, then not, then back etc. As he made discoveries about his abuse he decided that he wanted a 'casual' sexual relationship. Instead of getting someone else for that, he tried to have that with me. We were officially broken up, but would 'get together'. Of course, the reality was not so casual for either one of us since we had already developed & nurtured a very close emotional bond, but he was trying in some way to create the emotional distance from sex in order to feel safe & in order to not get affected by the emotions that it brought up.

Well, it didn't work. We then went on getting back together, not together, etc. Finally we agreed to be friends & NOT have sex & that was the best step we could take in our relationship. It wasn't easy & I had to be the 'enforcer'. Even though this was HIS agreement for HIS emotional progress, he would still try to make our encounters sexual & I had to push him back & let him know that we were really going to live up to that agreement to be friends. That didn't come until I realized that the way I connect sex & love is TOTALLY different than how he does. It isn't that he isn't sincere in the caring or affectionate moments, it is that he splits that off from his daily reality & categorizes it in some way that keeps it more understandable. I would think that we were connecting & together, but just when I thought that, he'd be running away...very hurtful until I realized what was going on.

Establishing the friendship made me feel much more valued & valuable to him. He still does stuff that is insensitive, but he is much more expressive of his emotional connection to me when he isn't running away from the sexual connection. The sex just seemed to cloud his ability to see the friendship.

I don't know if this makes sense. It is kind of hard to explain how the dynamic changes and it is also difficult because I haven't got the same 'categories' for people that he seems to have.

My understanding of the psychology may be flawed, but the way I see him is like a tiny child, adolescent and grown man all walking around in a grown man's body. They are all part of him -- he isn't DID to such a degree that he has alters or experiences that he doesn't know about. But sometimes I think the tiny child is exposed & the grown man doesn't know how to protect him. The adolescent is the part of him that is going through therapy & learning the new skills to protect that child. But he is still learning & the skills aren't mastered, so he can be very vulnerable & expecting the relationship to be adult isn't really realistic.

The way PAS explained the selfish phase is kind of what I see this process as doing to someone. He, like any adolescent is self-focused & just learning how to cope as a true adult. The child is completely self-centered & the grown man suffers from the pain of realizing that he isn't as capable or responsible as he wants to be.

Anyway, just as we all grow at different rates in normal development, I see him going through a process of re-development. He is an adult, but he has learned so many ineffective coping mechanisms that he has to re-learn much of his interpersonal & emotional skills. He is learning how to establish boundaries & how & who to trust & not to trust. He is also figuring out what he wants in a relationship, what kind of life he wants to life & how he wants to spend his time. That is not the time to commit to a life-long partner.

I don't know if this is helpful to you, but that is how I've managed to answer my own "why" questions about him not appreciating me or not wanting the love & support I have to give him. (Well, he does, but not in the committed reciprocal way that it should be.) Looking at the process helped me not to feel so rejected or to read his actions as meaning what they would if I did those things. I donít excuse the inexcusable, but I can understand better & keep myself from getting too hurt by his uncaring behaviors. And it allows me to sincerely appreciate the good stuff without 'erasing' it because it wasn't the complete package deal!

-BB.


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#68381 - 12/03/03 03:40 PM Re: Does it help?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>>And from the few couples I know, or knew - most have seperated, they had a relationship that was so intense when it was good, but the slightest problem sent them overboard into the worst violence and emotional fights I've ever seen. It seems to me now, looking back with hindsight ( a wonderful thing ) that they were just acting out against each other.

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! \:\) You just described my relaitonship exactly.

>>>>So, what I can't figure out is why the relationships even get past the second date ?

- common awareness of what we are doing when we are fighting/acting out

- not blaming ourselves for acting this way

- commitment to the relationship in order to explore oneself to reduce "fake" or "reactive" fighting (fighting based on our reactions that are shaped by damaged belief systems due to the abuse - recognizing that we are NOT fighting due to actually anything that either partner has done!!)

>>>But as far as I know neither has had any kind of help with their problems,or anger management even.

>>>They say "opposites attract" - there might be some truth in that.

Yes indeed - a double edged sword - two trauma survivors can certainly understand where the other person is coming from but when we are all insecure and triggering each other. When times are good then we get along great. We can help each other, even in times of some stress as long as one of the partners is in a semi safe space its ok but when BOTH are triggered???? MAN its a round-and-round, trigger-palooza!!

It takes a LOT of learning and self awareness and a STRONG committment to the relationship and to the other person to MAKE IT STOP enough to keep the relationship going.


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#68382 - 12/03/03 05:55 PM Re: Does it help?
Caetel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
"It takes a LOT of learning and self awareness and a STRONG committment to the relationship and to the other person to MAKE IT STOP enough to keep the relationship going"

Well PAS this is exactly the challenge I am facing in this relationship with V. We broke up twice and every time we both grew from there, we learnt to recognize our faults and the issues we had to concentrate on. I have learnt to be more considerate, more patient and more delicate.
I have also learnt to be more honest with myself and not take the easy route to say "that's his fault". I think a relationship between two survivors has that flexibility that can make it work. There is openess and respect on both part to give that space for individual growth, thus making the relationship stronger. But sure it takes a lot of courage and patience.
I am struggling to get to that point where at least we would have strong foundations and things will be easier as we both heal over time.
But I am confident. I must say that I woke up this morning and I felt so much love for V. it was extraordinary. The feeling came from all the support I got from you guys over here and also from the thinking I am doing to make this relationship work. I have been thinking a lot in the last few days. I also got rid off the anger and the frustration I felt for V. So feeling all this pure love in my heart was a true gift.

_________________________
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

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