Does he hate me and run from me because he feels like a failure and I know the truth?
I know Al Anon says not to make any major decisions for the first 6 months of recovery but it is really hard not to run to a divorce lawyer and try to make a new life for me and my baby.
Can anyone tell me why I shouldn't give up hope?
He is in the throes of acting out, remaininghopeful. He is trying to decide if the feelings that were forced upon him in the sexual abuse is what he wants to live or if he wants to live the life he sought when he began and maintained a relationship with you and had a child. He is in chaos.
Male survivors do not feel like they have a choice, if you leave, then you have left, it was nothing they could have done. It was not our choice to be abused, it is not in our control now.
The advice to create and maintain personal boundaries, ultimatums and to keep you and your child safe, that is stellar advice. The quicker you leave, the quicker you may come back. When you build boundaries, you are teaching you and possibly him that there is a path he can choose, decisions he can make to help himself in a healthy way. Importantly, you teach you that your self respect and comfort are equally important, you are building your self esteem. Most importantly, your 15 month old child should never hear the parents rage, be bitter or worse, the child will take that inside of him/her and feel it is their fault. When you create personal boundaries, you give all of you a chance for a good future.
Do not take his actions personally, the marital bonds are not as prominent in his mind as when he was abused, and those boundaries were smashed through. He cannot distinguish between the overwhelming controls of the abuse and his thoughts to make the marriage and parenting his one priority. Imagine drowning, when the air in the lungs is depleted, the body will override the reason and demand the action of taking in breath, even though the mind knows when that happens, water will be taken into the lungs. He is acting on the feelings that override reason.
Al Anon is right, do not make any decisions, but PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Create a safe environment, what you want, with or without him and work towards it. Step One cannot be that he stops cheating on you, Step One may be continuing to get support and rewarding yourself for the progress you are making. Step Two can be about making sure you are the mother and wife you want to be regardless of his activity. Step Three might begin the process of validating your perception of marital bonds with speaking to him about his acting out, and laying down ground rules with ultimatums, "if he does this, you will have no choice but to..." These are just examples, but I have found that there is hope in planning, and where there is hope dear supporter, there is courage.