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#324064 - 03/04/10 11:11 PM A Reason to Hope! :)
happygirl1234 Offline

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 12
Loc: CA
Hi Everyone, I am a partner of a male survivor who was abused by a friend's parents from age 10-12. He didn't remember it until age 30 after about 10 solid years of sexual addiction with women and men. We attended the conference together a couple years ago and he got some individual counseling and we got couples counseling from one of the therapists we met there.

I had some horrible times going through things with him - he cheated on me repeatedly at the very beginning of our relationship, but the lies were worse. Learning how this person was capable of lying to girlfriends who loved him for years and years was hard. I saw photos he posted on the internet of his privates, I felt like basically selling what he was. I even saw photos he had taken of his girlfriends during sex that he had shared with these potential anonymous sex partners in order to get them to have sex with him.

Anyway, when I first came to this board, it was super helpful, I was in despair alot of the time and got alot of kind encouragement. I had to stop coming though for a while because I heard so many stories of when people in relationships with survivors were continually hurt because the survivors weren't really fully recovered. It got really depressing for me as a person who wanted to believe that recovery is possible.

Well, no relationship is perfect, but I am a wonderful example of someone lucky enough to have made it through with a survivor. It took lots of patience and work and he was really willing to change and seek counseling and I had to be REALLY willing to forgive and stretch myself in terms of comfort zone, but we are making it! It has been two years since he told me about the abuse and has no cheated a single time since (and I TRULY believe this). It took a while for me to gain trust, but I truly do trust him, and is because he truly has changed. He is much happier in his life all things considered. It was like he had this horribly low self esteem because of the sexual things he was doing secretly, lying to girlfriends, etc. and when he acknowledged and got help for the childhood abuse which apparently is sometimes at cause for the sexual acting out things, everything sort of made sense. He stopped thinking he was some monster.

As I said, it didn't happen overnight and we still do have some problems. For example, he has some major anger issues which result in some violent types of behavior (he has never hit me, but he says some horrible things and has put his hands on my wrists, around me, etc. in anger. I have confronted him about this and it is my hope that he will seek professional help with this as well. He has admitted he has an anger problem and has taken steps to change on his own, but it hasn't gotten fully better and I believe he will have to consult expert help. I have read that extreme anger can also be a symptom of childhood abuse. He said one horrible thing that I can't get out of my head the last time he got angry. He said that he hated me more than the person that abused him as a child. I was so shocked, even obviously I know he said it when he was way out of control. He also has problems sometimes connecting through affection and expressing intimacy. We have lived together for two and a half years and are married in every other way, except he is also hesitant to get married. I think he has a hard time trusting even me, trusting that I won't hurt him or let him down. If anyone has advice I would LOVE to hear it! I don't want to come so far to let our life together and family be destroyed by violence.

At any rate, I consider him and our life together a GREAT success story, and we are definitely out of the crisis stage, at least compared with what I remember it being for both of us. It took alot of time, and I didn't trust him for a long long time, which resulted in kind of backfire problems of him not feeling like he had a private separate life. But it can be done and good luck to all you partners who are sticking in there. He is a jewel of a person in his soul and so far it has been worth all the hardship to get to the life we have today.

#324912 - 03/12/10 11:54 AM Re: A Reason to Hope! :) [Re: happygirl1234]
sweet-n-sour Offline

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear happygirl1234:

Hi. The anger issue is a difficult one to digest. YOU did nothing to deserve being on the receiving end of your boyfriend's anger. Even though deep within it is not YOU he is angry with, it may be people from his past or even himself...but yet, you are the person he is taking it out on because you are available. I too have been there and done that so I do have a bit of experience to offer. You were not put on this earth to be any sort of punching bag: emotional or physical. I would say it is time to set some strong boundaries. Are you in couples therapy together? If not, this may be a good time to look into this and work through this with a qualified professional.

I remember tiptoeing around my husband and his issues...I spent years always looking for his mood to set the tone on my existence. How on earth could such an unhappy, hurt and angry person offer me anything but unhappiness, hurt and anger? It is impossible yes?

Although I sympathize with what a survivor faces in their journey to heal, there comes a point that we need to realize that does not give anyone the green light to step on us. CSA does not offer a free pass at taking it out on those they care about the most. Without setting boundaries and standing up for better, (consequences for such behavior) what motivation is there for change?

I can honestly say that life can and does improve if both are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Unless you set some boundaries things will continue in the same pattern. A decent therapist can help you with this. Good luck to you in what you face.


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

cm 2007

#324916 - 03/12/10 12:53 PM Re: A Reason to Hope! :) [Re: sweet-n-sour]
catfish86 Offline

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 832
Loc: Ohio

You have a point. Keep yourself safe happygirl. You mentioned some anger issues and past promiscuity issues. I might suggest if you are not already doing this a strong Sexual Addiction program including a lie detector test. While I am blessed to have a wife who is standing by me, I have never hit or threatened her, nor have I ever cheated on her. I appreciate your ability and willingness to forgive. Please remember that the abuse your loved one suffered is NOT an excuse to allow him to abuse you. Set strong boundaries and follow through on consequences.

God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

#325368 - 03/16/10 12:15 PM Re: A Reason to Hope! :) [Re: happygirl1234]
Hexe Offline

Registered: 03/10/10
Posts: 4
Your letter gave me reason to hope, but I am very, very discouraged. My husband seems to be too depressed to find the motivation to change. What I'd like to know from everyone is how one finds a competent therapist who really understands the issues and the damage that's done? That the PTSD that usually results from this abuse is not the same as combat-related? How do you find a facility if he needs inpatient treatment? I may be making this decision soon. He's been prescribed medication (Symbyax), and the Zyprexa part of it greatly reduced the many symptoms of anxiety, but the Prozac part is not lessening the depression, which is increasing. Many days he spends 14-16 hours in bed, going to bed while it's still light (he's an alcoholic) and getting up around mid-morning, and then being emotionally unavailable until mid-afternoon, which is usually when he has the first drink of the day. I understand that studies have shown that the cormorbid conditions of PTSD (and related clinical disorders) and alcohol dependence can be treated simultaneously, without the detox that has usually been required (and which he fears - not the withdrawals so much as loss of the numbing).

This is my first post to this group. I'm very glad I found it.

#325370 - 03/16/10 12:24 PM Re: A Reason to Hope! :) [Re: Hexe]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
hi hexe maybe you could start your search by looking here.

good luck,


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#334098 - 06/18/10 09:55 PM Re: A Reason to Hope! :) [Re: Sans Logos]
happygirl1234 Offline

Registered: 03/04/10
Posts: 12
Loc: CA
Hi everyone. Good news! His anger has gotten almost completely better, no outbursts. Now the problem is "unhappiness" - with me, with our life together - it all seems to get lumped on me! Does recovery have these stages? Everything has otherwise seemed okay until he announced he is deeply unhappy.


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