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#256423 - 10/20/08 05:35 AM Why is he talking to my friends but not to me.
coaster fan Offline

Registered: 04/17/07
Posts: 11
My survivor and I finally broke up about a year ago, after being friends for 5 years, and dating for over a year.
He had disclosed the abuse to me before we started dating, so I felt that I was going in with my eyes wide open. I read Mike Lew's book, "Victims no Longer", and actually gave it to him a few months later, when it seemed the time was right. I also started reading the forums and all of the information here at Male Survivor around that time.
There was an incident where he got drunk, and screamed at me, believing that I was his Ex-Wife. That, on top of the lack of intimacy in any way shape or form, made me finally break it off.
He continued to pursue me ever since, and I still care about him a great deal, so I see him from time to time.
Now, he is telling women that I know, just from hanging out at local bars, about how much he cares about me and loves me, and how he was afraid he would lose his identity/privacy by being close to me, and how he wasn't available to me because there are days when he just can't deal with anyone, and has to be alone.
I was prepared for that type of thing, from the research I did before we formally became "involved", yet I cared enough then to be with him, and still do so much.
Why couldn't he have just told me how he felt at that time, instead of making me feel like a red-headed stepchild? He just shut the door with no explanation.
It really hurts to know that he is talking to me through "channels". If he had just been honest about his feelings, last year, I would have been more than ready to accept them. Instead, he made me feel like it was my fault, or that he did not care about me.
Hope this makes sense.
I am hurting so much now for what was lost. Even if he had told me these things directly now, it would have made a very big difference.
Still hurting,

#256457 - 10/20/08 11:44 AM Re: Why is he talking to my friends but not to me. [Re: coaster fan]
Niels Offline

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 196
I recognize this pattern: It takes me years to let my guard down and build trust enough to have the courage to enter a relationsship. Because of my bagage I know that I am going to get my feelings hurt, I also know that I will hurt those I love and that any relationship will be hard work and many tears (but also many joys I would not get if I chose to live alone).

I think that many survivors "test" their partners with unreasonable transferral behavior - like misplaced anger. In a way to see if you can handle that, without bolting and abandoning him.

I also have days I can not handle much human contact and need my space, Staying in my room all day. It is a clear sign that I am working through some tough issues or that I feel unable to cope emotionally with some feelings or issues and that I need time to work this through on my own.

Your survivor friend is obvivously attracted to you and misses you (or the fantasy of what you and him could have had). But seems to me that you did not pass the test - you bolted and personalized his reactions (which is understandable - his reaction was scary and not Ok since you are not his Ex-wife). But his reaciton were about him and not you.

For many of us survivors it takes years to build trust enough to get into a relationsship and be intimate with a new woman. It is my assesment that surviovrs are not ready to be in a relationship if they are not being open about their past and the difficulties it gives them, if they are not willing to constantly face their reactions and interactions with other people.

I am sorry for your loss. But it is good that you are able to set boundaries and hoping to have your needs met. But if you do not have the patience it takes to court a survivor, it is better to drop it and move on. Even if rejection hurts. Him talking to others may be to spare you since he maybe do not think that you can handle it, afterall you left him.

I live in my own little world - but that is OK! - They know me here.

#256536 - 10/20/08 06:44 PM Re: Why is he talking to my friends but not to me. [Re: Niels]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon

From personal experience I know that it's an incremental thing for a survivor. It could well be that he's speaking to others, testing out as it were the reception he'll receive. Outright rejection is such a horrifying thought. A survivor will do most anything to avoid that misfortune so we'll test things out a little at a time. Speaking our truth to someone we don't hold quite such feelings for as we do for you. If they don't reject us outright perhaps we try something else out on them or someone else.

Eventually, if we are ever able to work up the courage, we try something seemingly insignificant out on you to test your reaction. If we even "feel" rejection, whether it's actually present in your response or not, we withdraw for quite some time before going through the whole routine once again.

All of this can be compounded by the relationship we had with our mother growing up. Family counselors will tell us that we often choose someone for a life partner that brings with them some of the same traits as a parent with which we had difficulty. We then attempt to continue working out that relationship with the new individual hoping it will work out differently. That holds true whether one is a survivor or not, but can be greatly compounded if one is a survivor.

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#256618 - 10/21/08 05:35 AM Re: Why is he talking to my friends but not to me. [Re: WalkingSouth]
coaster fan Offline

Registered: 04/17/07
Posts: 11
Thanks to you both for your replies,



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