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#384290 - 02/04/12 09:52 AM Collateral damage again. His triggers
Anniemy4sons Offline

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
Recently my Husband/survivor and I went to a comedy show. It was filled with vulgar sexual content. I suggested several times before and during the show (Tracy Morgan) that we should not go or LEAVE. He refused and I paid the price.

Basically the night ended with what our therapist called Marital Rape. It was not violent but akin to a date rape. He refused to take [u]no[/u] for an answer.

After seeing our therapist and talking about it, my H acknowledged that his behavior was wrong. And admitted that many times during our marriage he was triggered by something and acted out. This time, he acted out with ME.
I'm realizing that his CSA and his SA has controlled our lives in so many ways. And I have paid the price for it.

His lack of integrity and allowing his other "self" to give himself permission to behave in such heinous ways is destroying all of us. He embraces this "victim" attitude but is in actuality victimizing other people. His refusal to listen to anyone other than himself has damaged us too. He will admit in the therapist's office that his judgement is flawed because his thinking is flawed but still doesn't listen to me when I try to warn him off of a dangerous situation.

To him, everything is about control. I'm trying to control him.

He is only 5 or so months into recovery (since his disclosure). We are in therapy 3 times a week. 1 time together and then on our own. I've noticed in the last month that he has reached a plateau. He is not working as hard in his recovery. He has stopped reading and communicating. After all the damage he has done to himself, me and our family one would think he would work his ass off even if the only reason is amends.

I sometimes think we will never have a normal life. Our lives will always be about HIM, his CSA, his SA, his hurt and the harm done to him.
I'm the one traumatized now. His trauma was 30 years ago. But he still cannot make it about anyone other than himself. He highjacked our lives for over 20 years and now he is highjacking our lives with his recovery or lack thereof. It's all so narcissistic and so very selfish.

Is this plateau thing normal? What can I do to help jump start things again? Our momentum seems lost and because the crisis is not as intense, he is becoming complacent. A week later the "marital rape" thing is in the [i]past[/i] as he says. That's always his excuse and complaint. I'm dragging up the past again or I don't act that way anymore "its in the past..."

Will this ever be over?? will we EVER live a normal life?? will he always be like this?? Now that he is no longer hiding these secrets and dealing with what he has done to us & what was done to him things seem worse not better for me.

HE unloaded all his bile on me(read previous disclosure posts) and is now "free". He says HE has never felt better. But I am weighed down with this ugliness and evil

God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day.


#384292 - 02/04/12 10:33 AM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: Anniemy4sons]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
I don't know if yo want a guy's input. "No" will not offend me at all.

#384297 - 02/04/12 11:27 AM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: Anniemy4sons]
Dar Offline

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 170
Loc: Missouri
I can only speak for myself as I have recently disclosed my CSA also.
I too worry about hitting a plateau and thinking that I have done it, I Have reached the summit and no one can tell me any differant.
Before disclosure I was very selfish and didnt want to hear anything that my wonderful wife had to say. Even if I knew in my heart that she was right, I didnt care because I was doing what I wanted and was doing what I thought was making me feel better.
But what I was doing was destroying our life together by not opening my eyes and listening.

Is this plateau thing normal? What can I do to help jump start things again?

Once again I can only speak for myself. Had my wife not pushed me into disclosure and helped me get through my child like reasoning I would still be a mess. (God love her) Now my T helps me through things that only a T can help with and I like coming home and telling my wife the things that I have learned about my self. We then discuss these thoughts and together we come up with ideas that help each other to move beyond the past.
I don't know if your Husband would reject talking about his T meeting, but I know it helps me to keep moving forward.

Will this ever be over?? will we EVER live a normal life?? will he always be like this??

I cant answer this as I am very new to this my self. But In reading all the great recovery stories on this site, I think that YES, Your/His life will be better in many ways. "Normal" is a big subject here on MS as we are all differant and see things in a differant light. But a BETTER LIFE, I know for me it is a much better life once I really opened up about my thought/past.
Maybe your husband still has some disclosure he needs to work through to get to a better place in his life??

I am Very, very sorry that your husband acted out on you.
NO MEANS NO and Rape is Rape. He has to come to grips with his self that he fucked up big time and a simple "I'M sorry doesnt cut it"
Does he realize that he could have been arreasted had you called the police? That your love for him is killing you too because of his actions that he continues to do.
Is he a drinker, do drugs, If so is this when he acts out?
I know when I was drinking that is when I would act out. Since I stopped all alcohol my thoughts of acting out have stopped.

IMO, He needs to realize that he has a great means of support in YOU, "BUT" HE needs to be supportive of you too as you are right in the middle of this fight also.
Two people standing together are far stronger than one person alone, unless one wants to be carried all the time,then the wieght can be to much to bare.

God bless you in your journey

All I ever wanted was a hug.

#384300 - 02/04/12 01:22 PM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: Anniemy4sons]
phoenix321 Offline

Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL

I'm sorry.


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?"

#384442 - 02/05/12 04:02 PM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: Anniemy4sons]
herowannabe Offline

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Maybe your husband still has some disclosure he needs to work through to get to a better place in his life??

Dar's question struck a nerve in me.

I can testify that the "plateaus" my beloved and I seemed to reach were actually times in which I instinctively knew something was amiss, that there was something more I needed to know, that there was yet another wall separating my survivor and me.

While I spent time fighting off the increasingly severe feelings that the invisible "something" meant that we were doomed, that I'd never feel safe again, that there was no hope for us, my survivor would start to feed on my despair, and we'd both wind up spiraling downward.

Well, when I'd finally reach the bottom of my despair, I'd start to press him for what was missing, what he was hiding, what it was that my gut was telling me I needed to know. He'd maintain that "he couldn't think of a thing that I didn't already know". It was maddening for me.

I don't know that my example here will translate into anything of meaning for you, Annie, but I will share it because I don't know any other way of communicating how serious this revelation was for us...

After my beloved disclosed his CSA (of which he'd NOT disclosed all of it) I began one of these "spiraling down" episodes.

He maintained he'd told me "everything" regarding his acting out, and couldn't think of anything he was hiding. However, I pressed and pressed, and sure enough, he revealed that his acting out had NOT started just two years ago after a major surgery he'd had. In actuality, it had begun shortly after we were married, and became increasingly bold after my grandson's mother gave birth to my grandson seven years ago. He admitted this FINALLY, (but not without some flat out trickery on my part), and said he'd let me think the acting out started after surgery because that was when it became WORSE, so it made sense to him. Clearly, his acting out was not a "recent" thing, and that is critical information, obviously!

After we processed this new information, he began to reveal more incidents of CSA that allowed him to further "connect the dots". Those newly disclosed incidents really completed the picture of his CSA, which completed the picture of his acting out. ONLY with the complete truth was it possible for us to move past the initial crisis (infidelity) and begin to concentrate on how deeply and completely his CSA affected his life, how he had not dealt with the trauma, how he'd become expert in compartmentalizing/denying/hiding/lying, etc.

In a nutshell, what I'm trying to say (with way too many words) is that it may well be your beloved is either consciously or unconsciously hiding something more from you.

I firmly believe that unless the survivor speaks it ALL, he will continue to carry and act out his abuse. Like my survivor, he may not be cognizant of what it is he's not yet disclosed. You may need to be savvy and try different tactics to help him be open about these things. Maybe EMDR would be of help?

You know that my experience may not have a thing to do with what you're experiencing, but I offer it in an effort to be of some kind of help to you in this MOST awful situation you're in. A "plateau" may not simply be a part of the landscape, but may very well be a place for stopping, setting up camp and turning over a whole lot of rocks.

I send you compassion and love-

P.S. Will you ever live a "normal" life again? Nope! You'll live a BETTER than normal life!


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

#384458 - 02/05/12 07:51 PM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: herowannabe]
mmfan Offline

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 115
Annie I am very sorry you experienced such a boundary violation, at the hands of someone who should be keeping you safe.
That is a grave violation imo.
I hope he realizes the gravity of what he has done and how it has impacted you. I hope there will be some consequences for him (although I can't tell you what those consequences should be obviously).

#384460 - 02/05/12 08:00 PM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: mmfan]
mmfan Offline

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 115
Annie, just to add some of my own experiences. I experienced marital rape. My h. did not even come close to comprehending what he had done and how it impacted me and why I kept bringing it up, until I communicated how it made me feel (we exchanged a series of letters as our verbal communication had broken down that much).
It was an ugly process that took about 6 months to resolve in the short term, and has taken about 1.5 year to get our intimate life back on track. This is not something that can be swept under the rug after 1 week. If he wants it to be "in the past" and you still feel its unresolved, then honor your feelings, and do not let him off the hook.

#384468 - 02/05/12 09:42 PM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: Still]
Anniemy4sons Offline

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
yes I would Robbie. thank you

God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day.


#506266 - 02/05/17 05:28 PM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: Dar]
WontGiveUp Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
I know this is a very old thread - but Dar, your post really hit me where it counts. The way you describe yourself before your disclosure really is a good description of my husband (though he has disclosed what he remembers, went through therapy for a while, but quit because it was too hard). Was there some sort of catalyst or trigger that "opened your eyes" and your ears? What was it that your wife did that helped you get through the reasoning issues? Was it clear for you what you needed to do to get help after you disclosed? I hope I dont offend you with my questions. Your post was just such a well of hope for me, when I have so little... well none really.

Anyway - I am so happy that you seemed to have summited one of the mountains of life, and I hope you have continued to climb since this post.
*** rising from the ashes like a phoenix ***

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

#506283 - 02/06/17 06:13 PM Re: Collateral damage again. His triggers [Re: Anniemy4sons]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2711
Loc: durham, north england
Annie I'm really sorry to hear this, however I admit I do feel a bit conflicted because your story touches on two very specific points of my own recovery.

On the one hand, i suffered genophobia for years due to my own abuse as a teenager, and crass comedy is definitely something i find extremely triggering so I can understand your husbands problem with that situation.

I can say I have also been in the same position where I'd rather sit through something triggering like that than leave, since if I could sit through it and ignore it and not be affected, that would prove I was okay, never mind the apathy, the depression, the withdrawl, the sleeplessness and the nightmares.

So, I can see how your husband was in a difficult situation and what he'd be feeling afterwards.

On the other hand, there is absolutely no excuse for the way your husband treated you. Even if acting out is a reason, it is not an excuse in any sense.
Before we got together in 2015, my wife was with a man who regularly did not take no for an answer, (including when she'd taken strong sleeping tablets), and frankly I am far more furious with him than I am with any of my own abusers.

Honesty and respect go to ways and you are just as in need of both as he is, neither will you be in a position to take care of him if you cannot take care of you.

The thing that finally for me cracked my genophobia, and if not solved it (I'm still not comfortable with crass situations), was learning how being intimate with my lady could bring her! a great deal of pleasure, a situation utterly different from my own abuse, and indeed from hers.

I do not know what "A normal life" is, but I can say from personal experience it is! possible for a sa surviver to experience a truly beautiful marriage, but only when both people love each other and the abuse recovery is something which is coped with together, not something which is an excuse for one person to control or indeed abuse another.

I'm sorry if this comes out as harsh, as I said, I do feel a little conflicted which is why I explained the details of my story here.

I really hope things get better for you.



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