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#280413 - 03/23/09 01:54 AM Marriage - anyone still together?
PatchworkMama Offline

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 54
Loc: Iowa
Just wondering if there are any married couples out there that have stayed together through the recovery process and if so, how.
Would love any advice you might have as how to get through the downturns, trust violations, boundary issues, and general pain that have come about since my husband has begun the recovery process.

#280441 - 03/23/09 05:33 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: PatchworkMama]
joelRT Offline

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada

I can't really answer your question as a I divorced (or rather, she divorced me) just before my major CSA issues hit big time.

However, in last October's edition of "O" Magasine there are a couple of articles dealing specifically with couples and how they weathered his CSA issues and came out the stronger for it. You can access it all through the following link. Wish I could be more help smile

My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

#280442 - 03/23/09 05:35 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: PatchworkMama]
Olive Oil Offline

Registered: 02/10/09
Posts: 20
Well, we're still together but it's relatively soon in the process. I don't plan to leave, but will qualify that by saying I am aware I have to take care of myself and that I can't fix him. It's difficult!

Mine is uncommunicative because of the meds, often doesn't hear what I say, and seems very selfish and totally unaware that he is. For example, I mentioned twice yesterday that my elderly step-dad had taken a fall and isn't doing well... both times he didn't even respond or so much as look at me. And he was sitting right next to me on the couch, but somehow loading Windows on his computer was just so much more important. These kinds of things make it so difficult, I mean at least respond with a civil "Im sorry to hear that, I hope he's going to be ok." But noooo.

How to get through it... well for the last three weekends my husband won't leave the house. He just sits on the couch all day long, playing solitare and watching TV and surfing ebay. He's like a zombie. The sun is shining the leaves are coming on the trees but he will not take a walk with me. It's hard not to start feeling that the reason he doesn't want to do anything is because he doesn't like being around me.... very hard on the self esteeem. Oh yeah, and this one is rich: if I say anything like that to him, like this is how I am feeling (logical or not) his response lately is, "You just have to make everything about YOU, don't you?" Which i recognize is "projection" but it sure makes me mad!

To get through... for now, I am keeping as busy as I can. I avoid his space if it gets me down. I cleaned house today, washed floors, did laundry, scrubbed the bathroom, went for groceries, and took the dog for a 2 mile walk. All the while I did all these things, he sat on the couch... I am chalking it up to the meds they have him on, at least right now.

If you need someone to talk to or write to, please feel free to PM me. I confess I don't check it every day like I do my real email, but if you PM me I will be glad to listen and email you back. Maybe those of us who are spouses of survivors need support and understanding too.

#280515 - 03/23/09 11:48 PM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: Olive Oil]
WalkingSouth Offline

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

Great topic.

A little over 5 1/2 years ago the memories of my own abuse hit me like a freight train. It took 6 months for me to work up the courage to disclose to my wife. Her reaction at first was relief because now she had a reason for some of the things I did and ways I reacted to situations.

Prior to my realizations I had acted out in various ways but I think the thing that impacted our life together the most was my anger. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't violently abusive or anything, but she and the family, and total strangers for that matter, found it difficult to work with me because if I things didn't go the way I thought they should I could get really verbally abusive.

Since I disclosed she's moved through various emotions and perspectives on my/our situation. There's been support, anger, rage, laughter, tears, questioning, mistrust, etc. Recently she finally stated she felt I had been lying to her all those years. I was surprised it took so long to express that one because of my conversations with F&F users and reading in this forum.

There have been times when I wondered if we would make it through, but we're still together and working on staying that way. We've spent a good deal of money on couples counseling and both of us have done individual work with therapists.

I think the biggest key in keeping the relationship together is communication. We talk about where we're at individually and as a couple. We express our concerns, fears, jealousies, and our love. It's not always easy or smooth, but we work at it. That's the biggest part of the battle, at least for us.

"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

#280516 - 03/24/09 12:04 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: WalkingSouth]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi Patchworkmamma,

My wife and I are still together, and I believe that going through the recovery process has actually made our marriage stronger. We've been married almost 21 years now, and I started recovery about 5 years ago. For so many years before that, there was this "thing" between us, and she felt like there had to be something wrong back there somewhere. Once I began to disclose things to her, a lot of pieces started falling into place.

There have been so many times that I was afraid she was going to be tired of my crap during the recovery process and just up and leave me. I felt that way not because of anything she said or did, but it was my own insecurity and fearing she would validate every worthless feeling I had about myself.

I think there has to be a tremendous amount of support flowing both ways in a marriage when dealing with this. It's not just the husband who's going through it, you both are. So don't discount your own needs during all this, because you need to have your needs met as well. I hope things can work out for you two.


#280537 - 03/24/09 02:04 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: EGL]
PatchworkMama Offline

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 54
Loc: Iowa
Thank you very much for your replies. I hope others will chime in too... it is very encouraging to hear your stories and see that there is hope.

Sometimes you just want to glance down the road a few miles and see if the grass is any greener. Please continue to share your stories, they help more than you know!

#280540 - 03/24/09 02:27 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: EGL]
PatchworkMama Offline

Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 54
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: EGL
There have been so many times that I was afraid she was going to be tired of my crap during the recovery process and just up and leave me. I felt that way not because of anything she said or did, but it was my own insecurity and fearing she would validate every worthless feeling I had about myself.

That's exactly where my husband and I are right now. He just can't get the feelings of worthlessness out of his head. I never intend to validate his worthless feelings, because he is anything but worthless to me.

But my own self-esteem is not very high and for so long I have depended upon him for my worth. I have been seriously depressed and am a work-at-home Mom. I don't have much opportunity to see my own worth outside of his and our children's success.

So when he spends his free time, our dinner time, weekends, and romantic getaways texting, posting, replying, checking e-mail and otherwise dealing with the feelings and such from his abuse - I feel really alone and isolated. My identity is completely lost and I wonder where I fit into this whole process. And maybe since I hurt him so much when I ask him to spend time with just me, I shouldn't fit into this process at all.

I love my husband dearly, but it sometimes it seems that we spend too much time hurting each other. I want so desperately to get past that. I am a wave in the sea for him...constantly supporting and pulling him close then nagging for him to give me more and stop the texting and spending time on the computer. The disconnect hurts so much. And the willingness to share with everyone else leaves me feeling that he is going to leave me, and why wouldn't he? All the other people seem to be so supportive, unwavering and understanding.

Has anyone gone through this? How did you get past the need for support and affirmation? How do I get off this rollercoaster and find a consistant way of being here for my husband?

#280549 - 03/24/09 04:19 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: PatchworkMama]
sojourn111 Offline

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 86
Loc: midwest
This is just my opinion and meant with a kind voice: you may not be a strong pillar for your husband because of your own issues and needs. Many issues that if married to a healthy, healed and fully developed person you could say are justifiable expectations. Yet many of us are not there at that place where we stand strong enough for our own emotional frailties and to pour into those we love. It is all we can do sometimes to forge ahead in our healing let alone put our families on our shoulders and carry their needs. Candidly maybe we were not ready to be a minister of love in the committment of a relationship.

If a man had his hand shot off would you expect him to applaud you? If he was blind would you expect him to admire you? If he was mute would you expect praise? These are obvious limitations and easily understood. Yet the inner parts of us that were malnourished, killed off, stunted or impeded manifes their incapacity by the absence of ability or health. That is to say the true fruit of an assumed healthy plant never blooms and grows because of unseen damage. Years of mutual need turn to frustration as a spouse is unable to provide the specific fruit of love to meet the healthy or unhealthy need. Despite appearances that your spouse could meet those needs he may just be able to handle his situation. Personally that is where Christ has become relevant for me.

I was at a point where I didn't want to grow or change or face the pain. I lost my wife and kids because of my inability to produce what they needed as a husband and father. She had a litany of unmet expectations. How beautiful the day when she accepted not for who she thought I was but who I really was. We have learned that I miss things. We have a code word if I am missing her healthy needs. She knows my earnest hearts desire to love her but I don't know always what to do. The same for when I know I am derailing and need her to give space. But it is because I am the 2nd love in her life and she in mine. She knows that whatever health and love I have I will give to her but that took years.

I say that to show you, find what he is doing right. Live together in understanding first and in need second. He has committed his life to mutual benefit and to minister to you. As he learns and grows you will be able to pick the healthy fruit. If you shake the tree in expectation it will drop unripened. You will have nothing to eat .

#280553 - 03/24/09 04:57 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: sojourn111]
An Offline

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
Sojurn's Demise,
Many gifts of perspectives, reframing there. Thanks very much for that post. i think the second paragraph could so help partners feel what's happening for the survivor.

thank you, An

ps ("Sojurn's Demise" puzzled me (in a troubling way unless i'm misunderstanind it as a name/byline....)

#280556 - 03/24/09 05:40 AM Re: Marriage - anyone still together? [Re: An]
wojax Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 171
Loc: Florida
Dear Patch
I am very happly married for 40 years. I told my wife at the begining of our marriage. The we have not talked about it for many years.When I stared my recovery we started to g to
church the family that prays togeather stays togeather. We have lived by that. now we can talk openly..Advice...It will take time and understanding and giving some space. And Put God somewere in your life and that of you family
God Bless Gary

Jer 7:23 ps 91:16

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