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#372454 - 10/15/11 04:50 PM rally to stay, or rally to go??
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
clearly the question all of us ask ourselves whenever things get too rough...i feel like a broken record, and like a loser and wuss for feeling the need to ask for strength in numbers and for the security of weighing what everyone else has to say to garner the permission i desperately need to indeed, stay or go.

but after reaching this place so many times before, even deciding and announcing my decision to leave and then getting quickly sucked right back in, this time feels very different and kind of final so to my post is long, and i beg everyone's indulgence to read it and help me consider others' experiences, good and bad, about their decisions either way and how they have felt about it afterward.

i am a 41 year gay male...and my survivor is a 31 year old guy in his first year or so of recovery.

we met nearly three years ago and our pwerful connection happened at first sight...we grew close very fast and had a long courtship that was wonderful, but very confusing for about 6 months. he was tender and emotionally intimate in deeper and more meaningful ways than i had ever experienced before. his love and adoration for me was clear and obvious to everyone, but every time it seemed like we would finally hook up, he awkwardly and abruptly ended the evening and ran home.

suffice it say, eventually we did hook up. the sex was powerfully emotional, and great. so much so that afterward i chuckled about my confusion all that time about whether he was straight or gay, or whether i would be his very fist same-sex encounter because he seemed very experienced and had no reservations.

the next 6 months, however, while a continued courtship that remained loving and deeply emotionally intimate, was only physical one or two more times, and in between he was back to the awkward running away at the end of the evening.

while very slow, and very confusing for me given that the seal had been broken so to speak, i just figured he had some baggage from his past that made him skiddish about commitment or about coming out (which he did not seem to be)...although at the very beginning he identified himself orientation-wise as being "just ben"...which overall made me conclude he was bisexual and was unsure about whether he wanted to be partnered with a man or a woman.

6 months into the post sex period, laying in bed with me in the middle of the night after having declined sex several hours earlier, he told me about the abuse and that i was the only person he had ever trusted and loved enough to tell...and the real journey began.

at that time he was not in counseling, and had not ever addressed the abuse before. over the next several months he continued to bring it up and he told me about his deep love for me, but also about the terrifying nightmares i had triggered and the lostness and despair he was in, and all the other usual things we have all experienced with our survivors.

he told me that i was the first and only man he had ever been with, and that i was the only man he ever would be with. his life before me had been exclusively straight, and extremely hypersexual and hypermasculine...he had slept with countless women, hundreds and hundreds over the years...he had been a player of the most extreme proportion i had ever known.

nevertheless, it seemed clear that i was now the primary most important human to him, and that this was a journey he needed to explore but that i was the one he was journeying from in order to figure himself out...i was the one he always was emotionally intimate with and everything else was simply an experiment to figure out whether this new path of being with a man was indeed the right thing for him.

from his disclosure for about a year there was no sex of any kind. but our mutual emotional intimacy continued to palpably deepen almost every day...he showered me in very personal gifts and love all the time, and his visible in-love feelings were so noticeable that, for example, even strangers commented to us about how wonderful our love for one another made even them feel touched when they were sitting next to us at a bar.

with my gentle encouragement and support, he eventually made the decision to start counseling. very soon thereafter, however, the acting out and constant lying about everything from what he had for dinner the night before to far more serious things began to surface.

for the next six months our relationship, whatever it was, became very volatile emotionally and whip-lash provoking for me given his severe pendulum swings from one extreme to the other from day-to-day, and increasingly so from even hour-to-hour.

i was already in counseling myself, which was very helpful, and it was at this point that i dove into the research and learning so i could understand and not just up and leave the way i would have had i not known and instead evaluated his behavior like he was a non-survivor.

i learned literally everything i think there is out there to learn...i spent probably hundreds of hours with books, the internet and on here...and i feel like i am very well versed about the recovery process and how the abuse affects him.

the abuse he endured was the most vicious and unimanageable as a person in our shoes could ever learn. it killed me for him and it killed me for me too.

he was repeatedly raped and sodomized by his older brother of ten years (exactly my age within just weeks)for two continuous years when ben was 4-6 years old. despite needing several trips to the ER for dire damage done to his body, and a criminal investigation (which somehow did not reveal what was going on), his parents never really acknowledged it. his mother silently kind of did and through the brother out of the house, but his dad to this day refuses to acknowledge it at all and his mother, the only person other than me that knows, died in 2006.

i reserached extensively about whether what he likely felt for me was same-sex attraction (the random acting-out, re-living the abuse, etc) kind of desire that was sproadic and just an aside from what is his straight life that he would pursue instead of me)...or sexual orientation confusion--finally meeting that one man he fell in love with, trusted enough to tell, felt safe to sleep with (sexually and literally in terms of sharing a bed just to sleep), and would, in the end, end up partnered with.

literally across the board, my research led me to the same conclusion every matter which path i started from and which way i tried to think it all through and which order.

because the abuse had been so severe and occurred in his own home and own bed, by his older brother, and well before 7 years of age; because i was a man, the man he got so very close to and trusted, was the one he told and the one he first slept with, and stayed connected to this whole time with ever deepening emotional intimacy, it has been clear to me that this was not just SSA, but indeed sexual orientation confusion that would eventually lead him to a romantice life with me if he got through recovery successfully...because if it was just SSA, i would be last person he would trust about any of this or do any of this with, EVER.

so after 6 months of emotional torture and eventually learning about all this, i spent 3 months or so just not believing a single thing he said about anything that occurred outside my presence. i stopped investing in him as a romantic person to me and just loved him as a human. i didn't get hurt or upset when his lies surfaced and i completely stopped caring or investigating whether the things he told me were true or false, and i even started dating and hooking up again as if i were completely single.

as i had learned from my research, that made him trust me and connect with me all the more...we got closer and closer, and after 3 months he took a giant recovery step and one night, out of the blue, started asking me all the questions about the affects of his abuse in exactly the way my research said he would, identifying his feelings and confusion in ways that clearly indicated how much work he had done over the last year...

and indeed, he asked me, that man, which underscored my conclusion that this was assuredly not just SSA. that night and for about 48 hours, we talked in intimate detail about all this, connecting deeper and deeper, and ultimately had sex, and slept in the same bed physically wrapped in each others' arms.

i was under no flase delusions about that t hough. as i expected from my research, that was immediately followed by him freaking out and running deperately to girls. but he told me all about that too in clear in loving terms, and because i expected it as a anormal survivor response, i was totally fine and supportive of him.

as aresult, again as expected, our emotional intimacy deepened more and more for the next 6 weeks as he told me what i thought were honest expressions about his feelings and asked me what i thought were honest questions about his confusion and insecurities about dating these random girls...but then ferocious lies surfaced...

first i learned that during the whole first 6 months i knew him he was engaged to a woman 6 years younger than him, and that that relationship had ended with such volatility (maybe even violence) that her parents wrote an old school letter to his dad 9 months after they split about all of his outrageous conduct.

then just the other day i learned that throughout the last 4 or so months he has been dating just one girl 10 years younger than him and that they had become very serious. he had cheated on her with me that weekend we had sex, and he had wilfully and calculatedly mislead me to believe that no such thing had or would occur in the foreseeable future.

by accident, in my loving support of him, i had taught him how to much better deceive and manipulate me to keep me close, and so i trusted all the things he was telling me and the ways he was treating me to keep me close. i stupidly began to trust that he was taking steps through recovery quickly and heathily with my support and security, and i began just biding time, knowing that it could be years, until he got to his final landing place and had become a true survivor on the other side in a way that would lead him to me.

indeed, he was telling me things like he was unable to emotionally connect with her and other girls the way he has with me, that he was sure it wouldn't work out with her or the others as a result, and that he was starting to believe that there really was something about me being that special and only person he would ever truly love and trust forever.

but after two months of deception, the seriousness of his relationship with that one girl has surfaced. she is sleeping at his place at least several nights per week, has her own drawer there, and they are going on a vacation back to her home town so he can meet her family...meanwhile, his apartment is filled with persoanl and obvious connections with of us, and very personal items i have given him that he openly keeps near or even in his pocket because, in his words all the time, having me close keeps him safe.

i know in my head that i should take comfort in my research, as i always have before, and even celebrate for him and me that this is a necessary and healthy next step of his recovery that will likely be short-lived.

but i am emotionally destroyed this time. i am the one who gets deceived, and she is the one who gets all of his love now in ways that are deep and serious while i sit here without him and she is building a life with him that does not include me at all.

and the way he has now explained it me, it seems that here is where he may likely stop and get stuck. he stopped counseling about three weeks ago, and has announced that there will be no romantic relationship between us and that he is pursuing this life instead, and that he is finally happy for the first time in his life.

while he has also explained that he is with a much younger woman, the way he always has done, because he gets to be the decider of all things and she worships the ground he walks on, his noticeable comfort and commitment to this is like a research feels futile all of a sudden, and i am literally destroyed.

so do i hang on, find some way to endure this torture in the hopes that this will indeed be a short lived stage of recovery, or do adopt the view that this may very well be a longer term landing place and rescue myself from losing many more years of what could be a happier life without him.

for every post of encouragement cheerleading me on to stay and persevere on here, there is a post rallying for me to protect myself, leave, and get my old life back.

the thought of losing him kills me, and the thought of what i know having "that one man" abandon him like everyone else in his life has before will do to him kills me even more.

i have never been so evenly conflicted about anything...and am literally paralyzed by not knowing which way to go.

all input, every which direction, from anyone who took the time to read all this, would be so much appreciated.

this site has always been so helpful to me, and i have gotten so much from all the ways i have been able to help others along the way too. i feel this is my only real resource during what feels like my real moment of truth.

i thank all of you who read this far from the bottom of my heart.

#372455 - 10/15/11 05:13 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: lovingBen]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 541
Loc: U.S.A.
Hi Loving Ben,

He's going to oscillate for years. This girl will probably divorce him in short order. Where he's going to end up is very uncertain.

My best GUESS is that he is going to end up neither liking men, nor being the kind of guy he is with this girl right now, after he recovers, which will be years from now. He's running from himself, trying to avoid knowing what's inside. When he learns and puts it all together, he may very well be a different kind of person.

I'd go do your own thing.



#372461 - 10/15/11 05:55 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: Disappointed]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
..and then somehow find a way to live with the reality going forward that my departure likely destroyed any real chance at recovery he may have had...

i hate this so much, and right now scorn the day i met him...


i hope you well and wish you strength and real and rewarding genuine love in your life...we all deserve that for going through this.

#372468 - 10/15/11 07:59 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: Disappointed]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1739
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Loving Ben

D^^^^^^^^^^ has put it well in the last sentence.
I'd go do your own thing.

You are in for a whole lot of hurt, and so by the way is the lady, but what is important here is that you control what YOU can and that is your life.
Dont try and order his as it will not work

Look after yourself FIRST AND FOREMOST

Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#372470 - 10/15/11 08:04 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: whome]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 541
Loc: U.S.A.
I don't think your leaving will destroy his chances for recovery.

It could either accelerate it, because when this girl dumps him, he hits bottom and goes to therapy, or slow it down, because he doesn't have anyone to confide in -- but still eventually ends up in therapy, because that's his next best choice.

I wish we could cure these people, but they ultimately do it.

Edited by Disappointed (10/15/11 08:05 PM)

#372471 - 10/15/11 08:11 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: whome]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
thank you Martin!!...and Howzit!

for the first time in this saga, i seem to be searching for forgiveness in the event i give up...being "that man" in what seems clearly NOT just SSA, has connected us so powerfully and has placed an overwhelming sense of responsibility on my shoulders...

compared to what he lived through, my pain seems silly...but i am sad, isolated, lonely, and hurt...and surely not the old me...

seems like it's time to go...i just need the strength to actually decide and commit to it.

#372472 - 10/15/11 08:21 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: lovingBen]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
...and thank you D!!!

continuing on hurts me so much...losing who feels like my one true love, get it.

needing forgiveness and permission to leave is where i think i am right now..

#372473 - 10/15/11 08:26 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: lovingBen]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38

i apologize if this is too direct, so feel free to tell me to back off.

do i otherwise seem right in my learning and perceptions about SSA and stuff?

i'm so needing some kind of additional confidence about what i am actually considering and weighing in the decision making process.

#372476 - 10/15/11 08:43 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: lovingBen]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
just wanted to say how much i value this site...everyone is so kind and helpful and forthcoming when we need it the most and have no one to talk to because it's all so secret...

i am falling apart a bit writing this, struck by the kindness and understanding

#372482 - 10/15/11 09:29 PM Re: rally to stay, or rally to go?? [Re: lovingBen]
head&heart Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 17
Loc: Chose the hard place--left the...
Hi lovingBen,

After reading your well thought out and well expressed account of your relationship with Ben, my first, instinctual response was…RUN… RUN like Hell and never look back! I think you have had a similar response from everyone so far. However, on second thought, I realize that your account deserves a more thoughtful and careful reply.
If I am not mistaken after the revelation of the abuse your research suggested that his attraction to you was not of the SSA, acting-out variety but a relationship of true intimacy and that his expressions of emotional intimacy and love reflected his true sexuality. There is a lot in the literature which confirms this view. Acting out is often identified as non- emotionally involved sexual encounters without any real commitment to the partner. In cases of CSA, the research often identifies this acting out behavior with various forms of reliving the abuse but this time the survivor is in control or at least feels he is in control until the guilt, shame and emptiness rear their ugly heads. But my understanding is that acting out comes in many forms including emotional openness and honest expressions of intimacy. How else do we explain the many “johns” who open their hearts and souls to prostitutes while remaining emotionally unavailable to their wives who they truly love and to whom they are truly committed. (That was not meant to be a direct parallel just an example of a form of acting out behavior)
I cannot speak to Ben’s true sexuality and I would be willing to bet he does not know either. But what is completely clear from your post is that you are a very loving and giving man. Your love was not daunted by all the research that told you just how long and hard a ride recovery is for partners and survivors alike. This is not just admirable, it is beautiful. So, step back and walk away knowing that this love affair with Ben taught you an invaluable lesson about yourself and your profound ability to love. Hold on to your heart. There is someone out there searching for you and your heart of gold but it is not Ben.
My best to you

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