I am a woman whose boyfriend was abused by a much older female perpetrator when he was in his early teens. All the repercussions were awful, as he was seen as the perpetrator even though he was a child.
This is my first post, been lurking for a while. I have not seen my question raised. There is nothing explicit in this post.
Sex became a big problem fairly early - his lack of desire for me (or at least acting on it, although he says he has plenty for me all the time) and my craziness over the lack of intimacy in this way. There are, not surprisingly, other issues, but this is the one that affects me most directly.
He had told me about a year ago about the CSA and was surprised, I think, that I didn't blow it off as "initiation" and saw it as abuse. I recently started really researching the topic when the problem (above) became too much and I found a bunch of crap, until I hit on the website of a therapist who totally spoke to what I saw going on. I contacted him and he was great. (He suggested this site.) He actually offered to meet with my boyfriend while he was [sort of] in our area, not in the capacity of a therapist but as a start to the healing process - just someone who understands. I am so grateful to him. We drove about 13 hours roundtrip so that they could meet.
So...they met. My bf said it was well worth the trip. I am very glad.
However - he (the therapist) made it clear to me (in a reply to an email I sent to him thanking him and asking him if couples can and do come out on the other side of this and what the most important thing I could do or shouldn't do was) that my bf shouldn't even be in a relationship now, that he needs a couple of years of self care and work in order to get him to the point that he is even ready for a relationship. He is at the very beginning and needs to be selfish. I assume he told my bf the same thing. He didn't answer my questions at all, obviously.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting that and it upsets me terribly. We are best friends and in love. We have talked about a future together. How can giving up love be helpful? But this fellow said a relationship wasn't helpful and that he wasn't hopeful for the relationship.
He did suggest a book for us to read together about codependency (as well as a list for him of books that are mentioned often as the "must reads" regarding male CSA). I need to work on some of my stuff too, no illusions. And the intimacy issues have to be resolved -- but this is what my bf wants, too. He says he wants to be emotionally/physically intimate and wants to work through it. With me.
He supports what I do professionally and personally, and I do the same for him. We are grown ups with lives and careers and we have friends and interests. His family likes me very much and I like all of them. I know there is a lot of journey he has to take. I get lonely and I don't always "understand" even though I try. Emotions are what they are. But I want to believe we have a shot. He is a special man. We love each other very much.
So -- I realize this is the judgment of only one person, and there are books devoted to the subject of being your man's ally as he works through recovery. (I have ordered one of them, I've been reading all I can get my hands on with regard to CSA, especially by female perpetrators.) More than anything I want to do right by him.
What's the real deal? Has anyone else been told this? What did you do? Could leaving be "doing right" even though it would not be what either of us want? Am I kidding myself?
Thanks. I realize no one has the "answer." But thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Loc: United States
I don't have any advice for you, TwoStep. I'm a survivor in a more than ten year relationship and it's a challenge for both of us every day, but we find ways of connecting and communicating. It's always a question of what each of you bring into the relationship.
There are no "rules" and you should look to the experiences of other F&F who have been in your situation.
_________________________ Everybody here's got a story to tell Everybody's been through their own hell There's nothing too special about getting hurt Getting over it, that takes the work
Thanks, efm. I am indeed hoping to hear from other F&F to see if this is common advice and why it has been given to others.
But, frankly, it does help to be told by someone who has been/is there that there are no rules -- especially after a pretty harsh (imho) "rule" was suggested and more especially because I am one of those who has always respected "authority" and "rules." I have pretty much always colored inside the lines.
We are so at the beginning and there is so much other turmoil in his life right now that my head is spinning a bit. This all is happening pretty fast.
I hate that this website needs to exist, but knowing we aren't alone makes me feel a bit more grounded. I keep reading that the first year or so after the work has started is the toughest. May I ask if you were together when you first started your recovery work (not sure if that's the right way to put it)? If so, what did you need most from your partner then?
Two-step, from my experience, every situation is as unique as individual people are unique. I believe it would take a well-seasoned professional in the field and more than a few conversations and sessions to assess the situation accurately. A relationship at this time may end up being the best thing for you and the worst for him, the worst thing for you and the best thing for him, the worst for you both, or the best for you both. It also gets convoluted in the blur of loving someone and wanting to care for and fix them. A decision so important can only be trusted with guidance from a trustworthy and experienced professional in the field. You did a very smart thing by connecting to this site. I encourage you to check out the link to professionals, found in the menu at the home page. I also encourage you to remain active on this site; it may save your sanity in the end. You're not alone.
I have taken to the stand-up comedy stage to educate other male survivors and those who try to love them. I blog about my isolated religious upbringing where physical and sexual abuse were commonplace and I serve as a facilitator of a weekly support group for men who have suffered sexual assault.
We had a long unexpected talk tonight over a bottle of wine. Not always easy, but really good. Admitted our respective terror over what was to come and chuckled over figuring out our codependent selves (not dismissing it, but rather recognizing it). But we are committed to giving it a shot together. And that's that.
After all, you are right, it is unique. And I hope it's the best for us both...but time will tell, of course. On my end, I have committed to being patient [not perfect, I told him straight out that perfection wasn't going to happen. He was not surprised, go figure. ].
I am grateful not to be alone. My sanity may very well take a beating. TwoStep
I don't know if this is the right advice but from my own experience (going on 12 year marriage to survivor), i think our relationship today would be better if he had had the opportunity to work through things before we met. I love him and he loves me but I think that by marrying me and having a family, it was his way to move forward without actually having to deal with things. It has been a very, very long road. I feel he could have used some "selfish" time before our committment. I feel it's a lot to ask of someone to care for a partner when they haven't learned to care for themselves. Many points in our relationship I had wished that we never got married (the void of intimacy is unbearable at times). On some days, the only reason why I haven't left is because of the kids. On other days, it's because I truly want to be with the man that I know he wants to be. It's a tough decision, either way. You have to be willing to accept that things may never get "better". You have to be willing to have that kind of marriage.
Don't give up until you've tried to work it out and get help for both of you.
If he refused to get help, that's another story, but you have a right to ask for your partner to take care of himself and get help for the issues that continue to trouble him.
My wife has endured me for 15 years, including a major breakup halfway thru because of my sexual infidelity. I have been faithful and honest and no secrets for 8 1/2 years and working a program with T, 12 step groups, and other men who help guide me towards more maturity and strength.
I wish you the best.
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.
�It doesn't matter where you've come from, It matters where you go" Frank Turner
MB, it has really helped since finding this website a few days ago. Had a talk with my H last night to share the insight I've received from the wonderful people on here. It was a lot for him to take in but he did listen to what I've been discovering. Finding this site has helped me understand him more, why things are the way they are. It doesn't make it hurt any less but it does shine a light on it. Thanks for sharing.
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