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#258070 - 10/26/08 06:16 PM My wife over my shoulder
Legendre Offline

Registered: 10/23/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Texas
Since joining this website a few days ago, I've been almost obsessed with reading the forums. I've told my wife repeatedly how wonderful the near real time affirmation seems (as opposed to distant case studies in books, stories shared at workshops, and interviews in documentaries). Today she said that she wants to join the website -- says that she has issues, too, since she has been married to a survivor for 27 years. I just nodded and acknowledged her feelings, but I'm actually FREAKING OUT on the inside! If she joins (and she already knows my sceen name), I fear that she will read every post that I make, and I will be right back in the hiding. So far, in the few posts I've written, I've been open and honest. I feel that if she's reading, I'll have to edit myself . . . not because I wish to lie to her, but because I've found there is a different level of sharing among survivors. There is no explaining required; there's sort of a learned shorthand among us, and I simply don't want to have to explain everything I write. Already, I'm required by healthy recovery guidelines to avoid saying things in a way that might trigger myself or other survivors. Now I'm feeling that I would have to add another layer of editing. Recovery writing is exhausting enough, but to have to add another set of rules?! Is it wrong to say (lovingly) to my wife, "Find your own website."?


Vocatus, atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. (Bidden, or not bidden, God is present. -- carved over Carl Jung's front door)

#258091 - 10/26/08 07:41 PM Re: My wife over my shoulder [Re: Legendre]
Niels Offline

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 196
I know Excactly what you are talking about! I also fear that my exgirlfriend, who seems not be willing to let go of me will join this site too.

Look at it like this: You need this website in order to recover. She also needs it in order to understand and talk to other spouses. Your marriage might benefit from both being here. But and here is the BUT:

1) If she joins too: become a member and only post the personal stuff, that you need to post in the member section that is not viewable by the public.

2) Tell her that there are some things you need to keep private (Until you are ready to disclose/talk to her about it).

3) If she joins know her username, and ask her only to post in the public part, so she can get the feedback she needs.

4) Do not shut her out, but try to keep the line of communication open. Tell her openly and honestly what is going on with you, how you feel and get ready to disclose to her what happened to you and how it affects you. Talk about how it affects your marriage. I know this is so very hard, since there might be things you are not comfortable telling her, or have kept from her, maybe because you feared that she would not understand.

5) Take your time! If you are not ready to deal with disclosing all yet then wait until you are ready to handle it. I hope you can find an agreement that will work for both of you. So you can have your space here and she and you can work together recovering and healing together.

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

#258093 - 10/26/08 07:48 PM Re: My wife over my shoulder [Re: Legendre]
sweet-n-sour Offline

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

Hi. I can understand how you feel surrounding having your wife post here, that it would seem as if she would be looking over your shoulder with everything you say. The thing is, however, this works both would also get a glimpse into her struggles surrounding this process as well. It may offer you both a sense of compassion for one another and a deeper appreciation for your relationship. Maybe if you explain your concerns to her and suggest some boundaries then it may work to both of your advantages.

My husband posts here as well as I do on occasion. I pretty much leave him to do what he needs to do on his own behalf, as it should be on a survivor's journey.

To be quite honest, this place probably saved my relationship with my husband. There was a point in the beginning when everything seemed SO out of sorts and the MS members helped so very much to understand the many issues and to not take it all so personally.

Just as you are struggling to come to terms with your past, your wife has been effected as well. Please keep in mind that this process can be stressful for both survivors and significant other's of survivors and support is crucial to you both in order to find a more positive/hopeful future.

Best wishes,

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

cm 2007

#258095 - 10/26/08 07:50 PM Re: My wife over my shoulder [Re: Niels]
MissMyra Offline

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 19
Loc: UK
Hello Legendre,

welcome to the site. I agree with what Niels has said. I can really understand your wish of being private about some things, and not wanting to share everything all the time. That's perfectly ok in my books.

However, it sounds like your wife wants to support you, and she might need some support herself. That's a good thing! I think what Niels mentioned about you joining as a member and posting things you don't want to share with your wife in the member only section might be a really good idea - that'll give you some privacy.

Perhaps you could also make an agreement that there are forums that the other won't read - for instance, she would not read what you post in the Male Survivor forum and you won't read what she posts in Friends and Family? It's just an idea, I don't know if it would work for you two. =)

Again, welcome to the site!

#258096 - 10/26/08 07:53 PM Re: My wife over my shoulder [Re: Legendre]
wes-b Offline

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

My brother of the wounds.

Fears when faced dissolve :-)

I have recently wondered to myself "what if my wife wants to join MS"... And it initially scared me, and I have prayed on it since. As she has been married to me for 21 years and has recently, the past 2 years, learned many of the depths of my abuse history and my acting out to mask/avoid the pain. I have struggled with disclosing all... but the more I think of it I find that it feels more peaceful when I think of becoming transparent and vulnerable to her.

My T has encouraged more disclosure, what my wife knows is still vague... I have acted out in "adult bookstores" ( truly an anachronism for a place that is neither about books or adult maturity ) and her vague knowledge and lack of awareness of all the behaviours that occur in these locations could leave here with fears about my behaviours that go well beyond anything I did in these places... If I am to forgive and heal from my wounds I know in my heart I have to give her the opportunity to know my full story and decide for herself to forgive or not. I have let go of my want to control her and keep her with me, I have fully handed her and our family over to my God's will and am willing to accept what comes... I know with certainty that God's will is always for what is the interest of Joy and harmony.

With love and hope, Wes

P.S. I may think I strayed into letting go of some of my fears in this area.... I hope there is something in this for you too.

Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

#258157 - 10/26/08 11:25 PM Re: My wife over my shoulder [Re: wes-b]
cstjude Offline

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Dear Legendre,

You're not alone in this concern. It's come up before in F & F. Here's one solution that might work for you in the short term.

You and your wife decide between you that if might be a good idea if you both joined the site without knowing each other's names...for now.

You could ask the moderator to either a) change your posts to a new screen name (if that's possible) or b) delete you few posts and start over with a new screen name.

Then, when you are both comfortable reading each other's posts, you could share your identifications then.


Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

#258191 - 10/27/08 02:43 AM Re: My wife over my shoulder [Re: cstjude]
rchsweetie Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/06/08
Posts: 23
Hi Legendre,
I want to echo what sweet-n-sour wrote. As a partner of a survivor, I feel like my resources are incredibly limited. As hard as it has been for you to find the support that you need, there is even less support for us. I went to my first therapy session this past week, and to just have someone who understands what it means to be in a relationship with a survivor, was a weight off my shoulders. I get that feeling here on this site too. It seems unfair to me, to ask your wife not to use the site at all - it would be taking away a very valuable resource that she needs to heal along with you. But I also understand your concerns, and I like the suggestions that other people have offered, to make it more comfortable for both of you.
Maybe even just having the conversation together will give you some clarity?
good luck

#259281 - 11/01/08 12:31 AM Re: My wife over my shoulder [Re: rchsweetie]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

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

I'll agree with Neils on all counts. There are several couples here on MS now and there have been others in the past. It's definitely a conversation you and your wife have to have and some very clear rules have to be laid out between you. Without a doubt, the easiest way for both of you to get the most you can out of the site is for one or both to join as members. Many of the men who come here prefer to post on the members side only for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is to feel comfortable in posting about something they are particularly uncomfortable with or ashamed of, no matter how misplaced that shame may be. It is 100% understandable that you may want to work something through with the help of your brothers before you share with your wife.

All that being said, your wife would could certainly benefit from the support she would get here and she would be welcomed and understood from her perspective on things.

I do hope you and she can have this conversation and work out an arrangement that works. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that I wish the board here weren't so full, but if someone needs us, then the more who come, the better.

ROCK ON........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.


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