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#203599 - 02/05/08 03:06 AM Trusting your spouse
kiwi64 Offline

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 11
Loc: Georgia, USA
What do you do when the single biggest hurdle to trust and recovery is your spouse. I have the situation where I do not believe that my spouse wants me to recover, rather she see's that my past is taking away from her feelings, and that she thinks I should be over this by now.

I feel that she has too many issues of her own that are not resolved and cause her just to be angry when I say things to her. She is always stressed and very controlling, and will look down on me because of my past and because in her view I do not want a christian marriage.

Your spouse should be your aligh in healing and should want to see you get better, not put you down when something is not right or you make a mistake. The hardest part is that I can not tell her these things for fear of being accused of invalidating her feelings.

My life was hell with the abuse and it is hell now, I have lost the will to live and am in a constant state of depression. I just want the pain to end, and I can't trust anyone with my feelings. I feel betrayed and worthless. I am stuck in this relationship and too scared to leave it.

"the only limit to what can be achieved is our own imagination" Albert Eienstien

#203649 - 02/05/08 12:40 PM Re: Trusting your spouse [Re: kiwi64]
cbfull Offline

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
What you describe sounds like a recipe for codependency.

In all honesty, I don't know how anyone can grow and mature, let alone recover, without the support of those closest to you. I would never say it's not possible, becuase I believe it is, I just don't know how it would be done.

I hope you get some helpful responses.

Best of luck.


Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

#203650 - 02/05/08 12:58 PM Re: Trusting your spouse [Re: cbfull]
sweet-n-sour Offline

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Kiwi64:

I'm sorry that you and your spouse are having a rough time of it. Are you both in couples therapy at this time? Someone impartial can sometimes be of great benefit.

When you said: "Your spouse should be your aligh in healing and should want to see you get better, not put you down when something is not right or you make a mistake. The hardest part is that I can not tell her these things for fear of being accused of invalidating her feelings."
Sometimes as one person begins to change into health, it redefines the relationship and in being creatures of habit, there will be protest at first; an attempt to pull things right back to where it was familiar. I believe this is where therapy is of great benefit both individually and as a couple.
Kiwi64, you mentioned not being able to trust anyone with your feelings...sometimes keeping a private journal helps to put it all out there and helps us to trust our own feelings. I know I feel a great lifting in doing this. I have a plan Kiwi, after this is all said and done, I am going to destroy my journal and let all of those feelings go. I envision at that time I will have accomplished a deeper level of acceptance for what I experienced as a girl and acceptance of everything surrounding my husband and our journey to that point. (that point in the future)

Please keep in touch to let us know how you are doing. I'm sending you support. You are not alone here on MS. This is actually a great place to share your feelings especially with others who understand.

Best wishes,

"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

#203661 - 02/05/08 02:39 PM Re: Trusting your spouse [Re: sweet-n-sour]
LittleMissL Offline
New Here

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 42
Kiwi, first of, we are here and always willing to listen to you. I am fairly new here and I am constantly amazed by the support and openness to share experiences by everyone. Have you tried to get your spouse to come here to MS? I know it has been such a help to me, perhaps her getting to talk to other wives and girlfriends will help her.

Is she going to therapy at all? If not, it may be a good idea. Sometimes dealing with one emotional upheavel in our lives forces us to have to face others that we have tried to avoid and ignore. I know that has been the case for me. Dealing with my husband's CSA has opened up a lot of my own painful childhood experiences. So I am now dealing with multiple issues. My husband joked the other day when I was having a bad day that HE is lucky and only has one issue to deal with (the CSA) , unlike me with the can of worms that I am delving into!! Thankfully we have found a wonderful therapist to work with.

Ok, just went back and re-read your post again and you saw that you said "I feel that she has too many issues of her own that are not resolved and cause her just to be angry when I say things to her" so it sounds like she may be in the same boat I am. Try and encourage her to find a therapist to talk to, I know it has already made a huge difference to me.

I just started reading a book yesterday that you might want to check out for the both of you. I found it in the bookstore here on MS. It is Allies In Healing by Lara Davis. So far I have already gotten a lot of good advise out of it.

Here is the basic info about the book

Based on in-depth interviews and her workshops for partners across the country, Laura Davis offers practical advice and encouragement to all partners -- girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses, and lovers -- trying to support the survivors in their lives while tending to their own needs along the way. She shows couples how to deepen compassion, improve communication, and develop an understanding of healing as a shared activity. Addressing partners' most important questions, Allies in Healing covers:

The Basics -- answers common questions about sexual abuse.
Allies in Healing -- introduces key concepts of working and growing together.

My Needs and Feelings -- teaches partners to recognize, value, and express their own needs.

Dealing with Crisis -- includes strategies for handling suicidal feelings, regression, and hopelessness.

Intimacy and Communication -- offers practical advice on dealing with distancing, control, trust, and fighting.

Sex -- provides guidelines for coping with flashbacks, lack of desire, differences in sexual needs, and frustration.

Family lssues -- suggests a range of ideas for interacting with the survivor's family.

Partners' Stories -- explores the struggles, triumphs, and courage of eight partners.

#203725 - 02/05/08 11:20 PM Re: Trusting your spouse [Re: LittleMissL]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

Is your wife that selfish or is she that scared? Either one will make a mess out of things because your ability to communicate is wrecked. The posts above have great insights and advice, especially the part about going to counseling. When two people are so wrapped up in their own stuff, it's almost impossible to make a relationship work so a third party becomes a blessing. They can see the interaction between you, talk to both of you together and independently and figure out if something can be done.

The one thing I encourage you to do, with or without the help of a counselor is tell you wife flat out that putting you down is NOT the way you will be treated. Learning how to argue and/or disagree is something a counselor can teach you, but you have every right in the world to not get berated or put down by someone, especially in your own home.

I'm sure this is much easier said then done, but Kiwi, you telling her how badly she makes you feel and that you need her to stop has nothing to do with "invalidating her feelings." If I'm reading your post correctly, it doesn't sound like she's playing fair at all.

ROCK ON.............Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#204960 - 02/13/08 08:49 AM Re: Trusting your spouse [Re: Trish4850]
lorraine Offline
New Here

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Texas

I am so sorry you are not getting more support from your spouse. May I recommend a book called "Boundaries in Marriage" by Townsend and Cloud. It will help you put up healthy boundaries with her or anyone else for that matter. We have a right to be respected and with the proper information in this book, it will help guide you in the right direction. It is also Christian based and has been invaluable with my own relationship.
Remember that God loves you and wants the very best for you. ;\)
Take Care, Lorraine

Edited by lorraine (02/13/08 08:52 AM)
I can do nothing to change my childhood but I am in the driver's seat now as an adult!


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