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#303106 - 09/17/09 09:02 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Zinnia Offline

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
Dear ConfusedGF,

I can't tell you what is best to do except to say that you should do what you are comfortable with. I'm not exactly an unbiased adviser. Should you keep talking to him? Should you cut off contact with him? I don't know what would be best for you - but talking to a therapist will help you sort that out. I truly believe that you need someone who is completely outside the situation and is paid to help you determine your best interest. Please find someone for yourself and then worry about him. Please do not put your desire to help your boyfriend ahead of your need to take care of yourself.

For what it is worth, I left my boyfriend but I did not stop talking to him. I listened and I listened and he lied and lied. He lied even when I told him I knew he was lying - he told me I was paranoid or imagining things or blowing things out of proportion. I pushed back and I insisted that I knew he was lying and I dug deeper and I learned things on my own and I waited for him to tell me what I already knew. I did research on the internet and learned far more than I ever wanted to know about some of the disgusting things that some men do online and specifically what he had been doing. I was very afraid of what I might find when I started digging. My boyfriend did things that I could have never imagined him capable of.

Finally he broke and admitted the lies and started telling me things I did not know, things that made him look worse, things that were not in his benefit to tell me. He started seeing a therapist. He attends a 12 step group for sex addicts. He continues to tell me ugly things that I would not otherwise have known. I spy and I snoop and I doubt and I accuse. He tries to show me that he is committed to making changes. I am judging him now on his actions - not his words - because I cannot trust his words. It will be a long time - maybe never - before I trust him again. I am always going to be suspicious of anything he says that sounds like something I might want to hear. I continue to ask myself whether I'm being true to myself in staying with him.

What exactly are you working on together right now? Please don't deceive yourself. The relationship that you thought you had does not exist anymore - it never existed in the way you understood it to exist. There is no way that after one day you are in any place to decide what kind of relationship with this man you actually want going forward or to judge exactly what kind of relationship you actually have. I really know how much you desperately want to help and understand him. I have been there - and really in many ways I'm still there in my situation. I just have a little more time since I've found out. I am so angry at the person who abused my boyfriend but that does not take away any of the anger I have at what he has done.

I don't know what browser your boyfriend was using but both Safari and Firefox have "private browsing" options that allow users to surf without leaving history. It is also easy to delete entries out of history in every browser. Have you considered how easy is it to hide a usb drive? You had no reason to suspect him before, why would anyone ever suspect someone they love of something like this? Now you have no real reason to trust him. You are not capable of what his is capable of and so you are having a hard time getting your head around what he has done and the deceit he has shown.

Your life is not ruined. It seems that way now and it sure feels that way - but trust me because I have felt the same way - it does get better. You are not the first woman to be in this situation. You are a thoughtful and intelligent person and you will get through this. Please resist the urge to focus on his needs - and concentrate on you. Once you are in a better place emotionally you can decide if you are willing and able to help him. And you will be able to honestly decide if this is a man you want to continue a relationship with. Nobody is going to be able to tell you what is best for you - only you can make that determination.

#303112 - 09/17/09 09:49 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
If you are looking for a referral for your bf who is experienced in working with sexual offenses, you can pm me with your location (nearest medium city/state) and I can locate an abuser treatment person. Many, though not most, are also experienced in working with victimization issues.

You can also call StopItNow! ( 1 888 PREVENT) and talk confidentially with a counselor who may be able to refer you to someone also experienced in this area.

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#303117 - 09/17/09 11:23 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Lou Offline

Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 100
Dear ConfusedGF,

I have been following this thread and my heart goes out to you.

Please know that you are not alone. There are so many of us women who have gone thru the same feelings of betrayal and lack of trust that you are currently experiencing. I hope it does give you some peace of mind to know that it does get a whole lot better!

I concur with Zinnia's response and really encourage you to seek professional help as quickly as possible. Do remember that he has been lying to you all along, and sorry, but this is not normal.

As for me, once the trust was broken and the ugly truth revealed, it was impossible to go back to what I thought we had. I came to realize that what I thought we had was also based on nothing but more lies and deceit. It does take time to wrap one's head around this kind of behavior when we don't act in this manner ourselves. But with professional help and also the help of my pastors, I have been able to do just that.

This is a VERY serious issue. I would not make the assumption that there is nothing stored on his hard drive either. I am not a computer genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I can tell you that even though people delete history, someone with a lot of computer savvy can find files that you would never guess are still there! I would be very concerned and would want to make sure that there is absolutely no way that I would ever be associated in any way, shape or form with this kind of behavior. If the law gets involved, they will have the means to find what they are looking for if indeed it is there. Regardless of a person's past, there is no excuse.

Again, I am sorry you are going thru deserve so much more!

#303121 - 09/18/09 12:10 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Lou]
wifetryingtoheal Offline

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
I am more confused than ever, partly because I came here to seek support for very difficult feelings, partly because what counselors have told me in our individual and marital counseling seems to contradict what I hear here, and partly because I am trying to rationally understand what my husband as a male survivor has experienced and either I'm misunderstanding what is said here or something else. I read ConfusedGF's post and felt I could relate as my husband had many confusing thoughts, feelings, and acting out behaviors and it clearly is a result of his own abuse. Over the course of several months he began sharing many painful truths. I ahd a real hard time with him not just unloading all the painful stuff at once to which now I don't know how to trust him other than to give it time to either learn to trust him again or not and it is irreparable. Our counselors have almost unanimously stated that his lies are very common due to shame. He has declared whole heartedly that to tell me that he had an affair with several women was difficult, then to tell me he fantasized rape with both genders was very difficult, thinking of young boys he describes as very difficult and several other things he had hid. It makes sense to me that it would be very difficult as well as he states he lied to cover up and to feel better about himself. I am in NO WAY condoning viewing child pornography. I have children, I have worked with children who have been sexually abused as an SA advocate and in other capacities. I would have no tolerance for any reason of anyone hurting children in any way. My husband relayed to me that years ago he had viewed images online and that it had sickened him to the point of feeling panicky and he remembers acting out with a woman that night. He has been very open in trying to sort through his confusing feelings around sex,males, females and he describes when he would look at a boy that was his age when he was raped and having any sexual thoughts he said he was always wondering what does anyone see in doing that with a young boy. He feared ever acting on his curiousity and could not understand why on earth he would have these thoughts and said he chose compulsively acting out with women over and over and each time he hoped that whatever he was doing this for would stop if he did it with the right woman or if they acted out the role play just right, or he even had thoughts of having several women lined up in one day as he thought that might erase his confusing thoughts somehow. We have worked through a lot in counseling, in our own discussions, in our own arguments, readings, private thoughts, etc. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here but are we saying that men who have confusion around their own abuse and sexuality in a way that involves children are more of a "lost cause" than a man who fantasizes about a prostitute, or a man who masturbates to adult images on the computer, or a man who fantasizes about sex with a man and then masturbates or acts out with an adult man? I fully understand that the potential for them acting out a fantasy on a child is very serious and not the same as acting out with a consenting adult or viewing an adult image that is legal. Got that. I also get the fact that a man may lie because it is too shameful. My husband may still be hiding something and ConfusedGF's may be also. But what they have shared is that they viewed images either recently or in the past as my husband has shared and appear very shamed by this but declare they are valiantly wanting our support to help them sort through this and also never want to actually act it out. With my husband, I tend to believe that he has not acted out with boys or even men other than when he has kissed a man as it doesn't seem to me that he would so compulsively act out with woman after woman and the same type time after time if he wasn't using that as his compulsion. So I am more confused than ever, are we saying that lying is abnormal for people filled with shame and confusion? Are we saying that our husbands are so different from any other man discussed on this website because I am feeling even more isolated and alone in all this now than I did before I logged on. I posted my feelings in the main section yesterday and no one has responded and I feel like are our issues so repulsive that no one replies to them. I am very confused at this point. I come on here looking for support and further insight and feel very isolated from other male survivor issues and then I go to counseling and have counselors trying to help me understand his acting out behaviors. I'm really confused.

#303130 - 09/18/09 12:42 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
ConfusedGF Offline

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
I am just as confused and I am sorry that this has brought you confussion. After reading one post I feel like their is hope and that what he has done though horrible is forgivable and can be helped. Then I read another and feel like I should just give up on everything and not even bother trying because he is pretty much a lost cause. Is it so different acting out in this way? I agree that their is a difference between child and adult and I think that's why I am having such a hard time with it but just clynically speaking isn't this the same don't I have the same hope that I believe wifetryingtoheal has?

#303138 - 09/18/09 01:38 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
etat Offline

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 15
ConfusedGF and wifetryingtoheal- I support both of you in your efforts to try to understand what you are going through and pray you find answers. Each persons situation is unique and only you, your significant other and counselors can help you sort what is right for you and how you might move forward. Perhaps the confusing difference in this thread is a crossing of the boundary of what constitutes abuse Vs adult acting out with consent, thus different degrees of seriousness. Wife...a moderator suggested to me to break post into parAgraphs to make it easier for people to read and reply, that may help your post. I'd say don't try to make immediate determinations if your situations can heal, work thru it day by day with the help of professional guidance and insight and give yourself a chance for some perspective. I personally tend to have a lot of faith in people, but you've also got to have a head on your shoulders and not be naive. Best to you

#303147 - 09/18/09 02:19 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Blueskiesman Offline

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 2
It sure is helping. I feel like a new person moving forward. Try this link.

My therapist is on here and you can find someone just as qualified in your state too. Good luck.

#303194 - 09/18/09 03:18 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Blueskiesman]
Zinnia Offline

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
Dear ConfusedGF,

I wish that I could give you a hug. I can really relate to your pain, anxiety, confusion. I have re-read all of the posts here and not a single one says that you "should give up on everything and not even bother trying because he is pretty much a lost cause."

Every single situation is unique. Every relationship is unique. Lou and her husband needed to end their relationship. My boyfriend and I are still together. Wifetyringtoheal is in therapy with her husband and from what she writes he seems to be trying to share his secrets with her now and break the pattern of lying - from my perspective that seems very positive - even if what he is sharing still gives her anxiety. Only you will know if and when the time comes for you to end your relationship.

Nobody here is in any position to tell you what to do with your relationship. However, all of the partners here, no matter what specific things our Survivors have done or the present status of our relationships, can relate to what you are going through and specifically to the confusion and pain that you feel.

When you read the Survivor's posts you will see that many of them have something in common - specifically among the Survivors who reach out to help and support other Survivors here. Those who have committed themselves to getting help have made a huge difference in their lives and the lives of their spouses and partners. Getting help has given them a perspective they didn't have and an ability to help others. Blueskiesman is very courageous to post here and share his perspective - he is in therapy too.

You cannot control your boyfriend. You cannot make him stop having urges. You cannot monitor him 24-7. You cannot make him get help. You cannot heal the pain he feels from his abuse. Can you encourage him? Can you support him? Yes absolutely - but ultimately he is responsible for himself and the only person you can control is you.

I feel how much you love him and want to support him. The best thing you can do for him is get help for yourself. All of us loved our partners - all of us wanted desperately for them to get help. Ask everyone here - the best thing that many of us did was get a therapist to help us come to terms with what has happened so that we can move forward.

Think of it like the safety demonstration they give on an airplane - when the oxygen mask decends you are supposed to put your mask on first - before you try to help anyone else with theirs. It is really that simple.

Please know that it does get better. You have reached out here. Take the next step and reach out to a therapist for yourself and encourage your boyfriend to do the same.

Also - a note to wifetryingtoheal - I'm sorry for the pain that you are going through and I'm sorry that you have not felt the response and support here that you need. In the context of this thread, others have probably not commented directly on your posts because the general rule of thumb is to try to stay on track with the original post - and to comment directly on another poster's comment directly is sometimes like hijacking the thread. I second etat's suggestion to go back and edit your other post to make paragraphs to make it easier for people to read and comment on. From what you have written it does seem like your husband is working through his issues in therapy. It says a lot that he can communicate his ugly truths to you. I give you so much credit for doing your best to support him and for seeking therapy for yourself. I wish you peace and healing.


#303913 - 09/24/09 02:24 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Zinnia]
wifetryingtoheal Offline

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12

Thank you for your response and thoughts. Just to clarify, I did not mean that I wanted a response to my posts here on this thread. I completely understand this is another members thread relating to their concern and we are all responding to that and would not want to "hijack" that. I had been referring to my post on the front page as it was about similar concerns such as what ConfusedGF was mentioning. I did get very good feedback and food for thought from a couple folks and I'm very appreciative of that.

#303996 - 09/24/09 06:53 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
It's been a few days since your discovery. I don't know how you are doing, I hope you are better. I hope your fellow has found a therapist and you need one as well. I don't think you should have a computer in your home. That is the only way you can make sure that the internet is not an issue. Work with a therapist and go from there. Personally I wouldn't stay in this situation. If you choose to stay I wouldn't dare own a computer. I wouldn't take that risk. You have heard some harsh truths and I'm going to agree, men with secrets are great liars.

I have a man that a year ago his nick name was steady eddy. I told people he was the perfect husband. He didn't lie, cheat or hurt me in any way. If he said he was going to be home at 5 by golly he was home by 5. His eyes never even glanced at another woman. He told me he didn't look around, didn't care what other woman looked like and I was the only girl for him. He didn't party with the boys at the office, didn't do anything like other men. He came home and was with the family always. He was perfect. I was sooo lucky. He went out of his way to hammer into me that he was honest and decent. He was not like other men. He would never hurt me.

When I found out about the abuse from another family member and he lied about it I was confused, my husband didn't lie...well, ok, this was a hard one for him....I mean he had to protect himself so this was ok...when I found him on the computer doing not good things and he LIED about it, wow, this is crazy. He promised it was around the abuse and would never happen again. When he was using our phones to get his fix and then lied his butt off and went as low as blaming his coworkers for stealing his phone I was done thinking my husband was a superman and incapable of lying. It's hard to fall that far to reality when you have such love and trust for someone and for me it was for almost 2 decades.

My point, just because he says it does not make it so. Just because you love him and think he's a wonderful person does not mean it's real. The man that you fell in love with is not real. It's who he had to be to survive, to get you. You have not found all of the truth. For every rat you see there are a hundred you can't. (dr phil) Don't allow yourself to be drug down into something you can't dig yourself out of. This is bad stuff. This is jail time. I wouldn't feel safe if it were me, you are helping cover up something that is a huge deal. I hope that there is some help in place and soon. You need to have a therapist on your side helping you out.

Having said all of that, I know this is hard and that you love him and that he's hurting. I know he needs help. I am concerned for the kids that are being abused to feed his pain. I wish you all the hope in the world and I am praying for you and this situation. I want YOU to take care of YOU first and foremost. I'm not trying to be mean and it took me days to respond because this is so upsetting. I have 3 little boys so maybe it's harder as a mama and a wife of an abused man all combined but it's hard to hear it, and as a woman I don't want to see you go down for something you had nothing to do with.

You also said something that bothered me. Your life is not over. You have a great life ahead of you if you choose to move forward and find someone else. You have a lot to offer, look at your compassion and strength. Don't sell yourself short. Yes, you can and will grieve for what could have been but your life is not over!

Life is to short to blend in

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