I am so glad I found this website! I have been in a relationship with a man who was sexually abused when he was a young boy. We have been together for over four years. He is not in therapy. We have our ups and downs, but we love eachother very much... or so I thought.
Lilly, guys who were sexually abused as young boys often have a lot of turbulent emotions. The abuse has made them feel very small and insignificant. They feel unworthy of love and especially your love. They need to have a therapist to work things through with.
They can have all kinds of problems and sometimes they don't have much insight as to that they even have the problems let alone how the problems came from how they were treated as little boys.
It is not unusual to have ups and downs. They could be an indication of bipolar. Or they could even be an indication of a dissociative disorder.
Being sexually abused as a little boy makes the grown up man feel psychologically impotent. He feels unworthy of your love. It is too painful for him to recognize this. It is less painful for him to push you away because then he can pretend it's your fault and not because as he sees himself as a bunch of rejected garbage.
A couple of weeks ago I bought him an expensive birthday gift. I have given him gifts before, but this is an expensive piece of jewlery that I thought he would like. He said he did like it and it meant a great deal to him. Later that same day, when he got home from work and a few drinks he demanded to know why I would spend my money on him, that he didn't deserve it. I assured him that he did, that everyone deserves something nice on their birthday. He then told me that he does bad things and he preceeded to tell me one of his stories. Some backround.... he'll tell stories (lies) I know they are lies, about the bad things he does while he's out with friends...fist fights, bar talk/big man talk crap. I tell him I know it isn't true and he'll go silent or acknowledge that he made it up.
Your gift to him actually put him in a bind because it showed him you could give him something he couldn't return to you. Therefore he had to be "rejecting" of the gift because that would make him feel like he's in control (in the driver's seat) again.
Guys who experienced abuse as children often hate their own birthdays. They have a secret feeling (and incorrectly so) that their birth was a sad day under heaven. They feel that if anybody honors their birthday that that person must be very wrong about it. They think that because they see their birthday as a bad thing that if their girl friend honors their birthday that she is either blind to not see it or that she is being manipulative to try to manipulate his hurting feelings.
Therefore since you spent money on his present, he doesn't see it as being a loving gift. He sees it as almost like something manipulative, a put-down. Something he doesn't deserve and can never repay because he thinks he is (truly) incapable of love.
This all happened a couple of weeks ago. I have now found out that the day after his birthday, he met a woman and has been talking to her on the phone. He said that his feelings have been changing for awhile and that the only reason we're still together is because he felt guilty about the gift. I asked him why didn't he tell me about this woman as soon as he took her number? Why has he been talking about marriage these past weeks while he's been talking to her? He actually begged me to marry him the night he came home telling stories. He said it's because he's been trying to force himself to love me again. He said he can't love me because if he did he wouldn't have found this woman, "attractive and neat".
Guys who were sexually absed as children feel as though they are sexually or romantically disabled. They have to constantly reassure themselves that they are not. Some will do that by engaging in an affair. The affair seems to validate their own sexuality.
In a backward kind of a way, your gift to him gave him a message that you were stronger than he was (he feels himself to be very weak). Therefore he has to push you away in order to validate what he sees as his own waning romantic and sexual prowess.
And all the while, these past weeks, he has asked, "WHY DID YOU BUY ME THIS WATCH?!". I have tried talking to him. He is silent and won't say a word unless it's a hurtful one. He's told me he didn't want to hurt me. He said, "How do you tell the girl you thought was the love of your life that she is not?". He is passive/aggressive with me and I don't understand what has happened.
I tried to answer this already. He feels inwardly like a weak little boy. He thinks he is unloveable. He thinks that if you say you love him, either in words or by a gift, that you are stronger than he is, or at least more capable of love than he is. Therefore your gift and your words actually make him feel bad inside.
We do argue, like people do. He has wanted to get married or for me to move in and I eventually would have, he knows I am waiting for my child to finish school at her own school, she's a senior next year. Most times he likes having his space anyway. It was always fine before.
He feels that with this change in your relationship, either marriage or living-in, that it would allow him to have the upper hand, to show that he is sexually and romantically better. But it's not true. It would be more of same for you both. And it would put an impossible burden on your daughter. She would be bitterly unhappy and it would ruin her senior year.
He probably needs his space to work out his emotional hang-ups. He may be just really a little boy down inside and he may be totally unable to support a more mature relationship, let alone support a child who is not his.
My question is, could this be because of the damn gift? We have broke up. He isn't talking to me. I don't understand what is going on. He told me several times he's going to send me the gift in the mail, that he don't deserve it, that things are different between us and that he doesn't even want to be friends with me. I told him to keep the gift. It was meant for him to do whatever he wishes with it.
Yes the gift actually hurt your relationship. YOu intended that a rather extraordinary gift would confirm your love. But as I said already it actually made his bad feelings about himself worse. He may be unaware of why he feels that way and so he chooses to battle in words, which seem to make him feel stonger.
Does anybody have opinion to what is going on? Could the truth be as simple as what he's stated? He is the one who came and told me about the woman. I don't understand.
Yes, I have given my opinion. And no, he is not really aware of his emotions or the real reason he acts the way he does. The woman as I said seems to validate his own romantic and sexual prowess. It makes him the "mighty hunter" in his own eyes. Watch out. He needs a lot of counseling to understand himself and why he feels the way he does and why he acts the way he does. You will find your relationship turbulent until he is able to grow emotionally. If what I said about him feeling like a little boy is true, then he will act that way and he won't have a clue as to what's going on.
Thank you for any input. I can't go to friends or family with this, I would never betray his trust because I think his behavior is due to the abuse.
Yes, Lilly. The abuse has distorted his thinking and his behavior. He may be a wonderful man but he will have a lot of these problems until they get talked out with somebody who can help him get the understanding he needs.