First, I just want to say how relieved I am to read that there are women on here who are survivors themselves with male partners who are also survivors beginning the healing process. It seems that this shared experience complicates being a support to our CSA survivor partners.
I find that as my partner is facing his abuse from the past, it's dredging up all kind of things for me. I also feel a little bit like, "Hey, what about me? What about what happened to me?" Especially when his abuse somehow justifies his behavior that is destructive to our relationship or is hurtful to me. My past doesn't give me the excuse to cheat or lie, nor does it make me *want* to do these things: So why do I need to keep forgiving him as he makes the same mistakes over and over?
And I feel guilty for feeling this way at all. Like I'm failing as a support for not putting all of his needs before mine.
I suppose this is another subject, but it is also so frustrating to see the "relapse" coming and not be able to stop it. I see the alcohol use increase. I see the exercise habits fall by the wayside. I see him questioning my commitment, doubting my love. I see the obsession with sex increase. I try to talk to him, to get him to open up. I don't address any of these particulars (as they are merely symptoms, not the deep-seeded problem), but instead describe how I'm aware of a difference in our relationship lately, how we're communicating, etc. I guess the frustrating part is that I see it, I know it's happening, but when I address it he just denies it all, makes me feel like I'm accusing him of something and/or overreacting. And then weeks or months later it finally comes out that he's been "relapsing" with his destructive vices.
I also think back to the first time he sought therapy and after about 5 sessions felt like he was done. Having faced my own abuse earlier in my life, I knew this wasn't the case and tried to encourage him to continue. Well, now he's "relapsed" (as I guess I'm calling it) and realizes that he needs to continue with therapy. Part of me thinks, "I told you so!" I guess I wish he gave me more credit for understanding what he's going through.
I suppose I'm looking for advice on how other women deal with their own pasts in relation to their partner's. Seems like there isn't room for both partners to "heal" together. And thoughts on how having already gone through most of the healing process (as it never truly ends) changes our perspective on what our partners are going through. Does anyone else feel like your experiences, emotions and opinions are disregarded? And how do you process those feelings internally so as to not interfere with their healing?
Hope I making sense to someone out there.