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#382942 - 01/20/12 06:38 PM Is it better to stay single?
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Is it better to stay single while in recovery from CSA, at least during the beginning and middle stages? I have been single since I started on the path of healing, which is my choice. A large part of the decision to be on my own is so that I don't burden a new relationship. On the other hand I'm not sure if being all alone with this stuff is healthy either. I just don't know.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And weíll change the world.

#382946 - 01/20/12 06:46 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
westchesterguy Offline

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
jls do you mean "dating" while going through the recovery process?


#382948 - 01/20/12 06:50 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Yer opening a can of worms with this topic. I highly advise you read tons of material in F&F.

My life was shredded by the loss of my dream. I clearly shredded her life and those of my kids as well by not disclosing sooner, or having the poor character to marry a healthy, or not being strong enough, or...or...or...

I can tell you this though. I would not be in the black-tar-pit I'm in right now had it not been for the nuclear-war divorce.

There are plenty of good stories in F&F too though. I wish I could say its a function of this or that factor. But its a function of thousands of factors in reality.

#382949 - 01/20/12 06:50 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: westchesterguy]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1598
Loc: California
My person take:

Yes, I think it is better. I suspect that many of us (including myself) have such a burning need for connection and love, that if we did stumble across something that looked an felt like it, that we would latch onto that, and our recovery would stall. We would be so sharply focused on the OTHER person, that we would revert to ignoring our own needs in the process. This wouldn't be a good thing.

And, as most relationships end, how horrible and traumatic would it be to find yourself suddenly "abandoned" and all alone? How much pain would you be enduring? Would that put you (or anyone) in a spot of considering suicide, because it would be more "proof" of how worthless one might think themselves to be?

I hope this made sense. It makes sense to me, at least. I've been starving for romance in my life for a very long time. But now that I'm working through CSA issues, I can see that any romantic entanglement that I might get myself into would simply stall my recovery, because I would be all too thrilled to use the relationship as a drug to squelch the pain away that I'd really rather not have to deal with.


Edited to add: Robbie just posted and made my point! Sorry you had to experience that, Robbie.

Edited by Magellan (01/20/12 06:51 PM)

#382979 - 01/21/12 01:30 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Magellan]
Edward Wong Offline

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 42
I don't know where I would be without my wife. Who else would hold me when I wake up screaming after a nightmare? Who else would hold gently nudge me to work through my remaining issues?

I know I'm lucky for having a wife who supports me. I told her about my CSA after the first date. I knew there was a risk that she would reject me, but I didn't want to burden her with it later.

#382995 - 01/21/12 04:42 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Still]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa

I would say a resounding yes.
I have been married for nearly 20 years, and I got to the point where I needed to move out because partners get what we call Supporter Fatigue. They get so tired of us 'healing' that they start to get abusive in order to save themselves. It is a very rough time, so if you are single, I would opt for a couple of good friends, perhaps even ladies as they can be more empathetic, and a support group.

Don't go looking for a relationship right now, wait a short while, but also not to long.
You will know when it is right.

Heal well

Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#383014 - 01/21/12 12:15 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: whome]
westchesterguy Offline

Registered: 11/14/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
jls i just hit your intro posts to get a better understanding of where perhaps you are coming from.

i hear what the others are saying. i'm also not sold that the same exact experiences fit. so many nuances, too many different levels of maturity and awareness come into play.

on one hand i agree that someone going through a process of change could either attract the wrong personality type and/or could doom to fail a potential relationship.

on the other hand i think it depends... greatly on both parties.

for example: if i met a guy going through the recovery process right now, and he and i did fall in love, there is nothing to make be think the relationship would fail. hmmm, well perhaps infidelity, but even that just depends on a number of circumstances since "i get it" and "i've been there." in other words i would have much greater leniency with a survivor going through shit than i would with a guy who has never walked in our shoes.

but that is where i am coming from...fully aware of the risks, the challenges, the setbacks, the successes, the evolution, and finally the new and improved "him." if you find a guy or a girl with this same approach -- well then, why not go for it?


#383023 - 01/21/12 05:24 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
timetested Offline

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 30
This is a difficult question for me to answer. It is not a question of better or worse, but just the way it is. I've never been able to to trust someone enough to have a meaningful (or non-meaningful, for that matter) relationship with them.

#383056 - 01/22/12 02:51 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
phoenix321 Offline

Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Who seems to recover overall?

Men with supportive wives (or supportive boyfriends).

I have yet to see any survivor (have yet to see 1) say, "I got through this because of my favorite person, my shrink or my intelligence."

No, they give credit to their awesomely supportive wife (or awesome boyfriend) then everyone else.

People that make it through have support. It may be family but overall it is a spouse or future spouse (gay included).

Everyone needs someone. It is absolutely ridiculous to think otherwise. We are social creatures. There is no way around it.

Shrinks can care and say they do but they still are paid to be there. If Shrinks cured everyone, anyone wealthy or with great psych insurance would be recovered.

Why does AA and NA succeed? People that have done it and mentor others on the program. But, 99% have someone supporting them. (In fact, the biggest thing MS does not have is the "how".)

No matter what program it is, it requires support. Everyone I see that really recovered (not just exist) always credits the spouse. Women survivors do the same to supportive and understanding husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends.

The ingredient that makes all this stuff work is a partner. If someone gets through this with a shrink and a support group, it undeniably takes twice as long or longer if it really does happen.

Recovery isn't that it is gone. Recovery is control of it.

If you have a chance at a relationship and are honest about your past, I say take the chance. Putting your thoughts somewhere else is way better as long as you still have time for recovery (whatever the hell that is).

Why does it work?

It gives survivors something new to learn that you don't learn in books or with a shrink or at a support group. The missing ingredient is the genuine love for another person. That's the stuff we lost when we were raped at whenever we were.

Otherwise, recovery really doesn't mean a thing if you're not a part of the human race.

Edited by phoenix321 (01/22/12 02:57 AM)
Edit Reason: add/typo

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

#383057 - 01/22/12 03:10 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: phoenix321]
mcl1982 Offline

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 44
Loc: IL
Well said phoenix. Also, made me think of my ex. frown I wish she were with me through this.

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