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#399909 - 06/09/12 06:06 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
GoodHope Offline

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 428
Also, I read both of the books you mentioned and I couldn't help but feel like if I were in the position you describe in this thread, I could ROCK that thing. When I read the books, I was in the throes of depression knocking on the door of divorce because my husband's untreated CSA led to some pretty serious acting out.I had to build and be this support mechanism while broken into thousands of pieces myself by HIM.

If you love this man, and you want to stick this out, those books seem to me to have excellent advice and insight. it does mean subjugating your needs and wants for a time. I wrote a review about those books and participated in another thread here that talks about that need. I don't think I'm wrong in saying that MOST partners would want to provide what those books suggest, but it's super difficult if there are emotional wounds caused by the survivor's behavior (even his anger can cause wounds) and if you have kids and/or a job and/or anything else going on in your life, it's harder to walk out, but by not being his spouse, may be better able to build that framework he (and probably most survivors) need.
Wife of a survivor

#399932 - 06/09/12 11:16 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I agree with Hope. In theory, those books are awesome. The truth is though that many of us have such huge wounds fromthe acting out behaviours that occured and thus it would be super-human to think we'd be able to follow all the suggestions.

I read that book too and it was great but I would have to be Mother Theresa, the most self-less human in the world with no needs of my own and no very deep, emotional wounds at the same time.

Unfortunately with alot of us wives here we are stuck with huge gaping wounds from the acting out, lies and betrayals and I don't think any of us human beings are capable of saying "oh u were hurt as a child. Then cheating and such is a-ok. No problem. I am here for u"

#399942 - 06/10/12 02:12 AM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
karin4him Offline

Registered: 03/18/12
Posts: 23
Loc: Illinois
The advice you've received here is sound. My husband has just started dealing with his csa and we've been married for over 20 years. If I had only known when we got married, what I know now, our marriage would not have been as rocky and I would have strongly encouraged him to get the help he needed much sooner. After all of these years of boozing and issues, we are just beginning to heal together. So, if you truly love him give him the time he needs to heal.

#400203 - 06/12/12 09:37 AM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
Anomalous Offline

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 2240
Hi PatientlyWaiting,

Your fiancÚ, nor anyone, has the right to harm you.

The fact he is taking his anger out on you is unacceptable. If you decide to keep him in your life, you must set limits with him. Speaking to you in an emotionally abusive manner is no longer an option for him.

To be blunt, you need to set limits with your fiancÚ about the behavior you find acceptable and that which is unacceptable. There are consequences for unacceptable behavior. But only set limits and consequences if you are prepared to follow through with them.

These are not punishments, nor are they forms of blackmail. You are telling him, unequivocally, what you will tolerate.

He has every right to be angry, depressed, and rageful. But taking it out on you and others is not an option.

Loving him means setting limits. Hopefully he will see that he has to find constructive, rather than destructive, ways with which to deal with his pain. You are setting limits out of love.

Dealing with this stuff is not easy, not for the survivor, and certainly not for the person who loves him. But it can and does get better. A lot of energy and committment is required to achieve the desired results.

Your fiancÚ has a lot of diffuse rage for which he does not have a specific manner in which, nor a specific target at whom, to express it. His rages and arguments are defenses against the pain he feels. But he needs to express his pain in a manner that is not harmful to you, to himself, or to others.

The truth is, your fiancÚ survived the worst part. While the memories and feelings may be painful and unpleasant, they are just that -- memories and feelings, and they cannot harm him.

This is not to say the feelings, flashbacks and memories do not hurt. At times that pain is excruciating. But using rage and verbal abuse to distance himself from further pain is neither appropriate nor helpful. The only way to get the pain to stop is to do the work in therapy.

It will be a rough road for each of you, but the rewards are immeasurable.

One of the things you need to do is self care. You need to eat well, exercise and do things that are not trauma related. You need to have a support system that does not focus on trauma related issues.

If you have not found it yet, there is a chat room (aka: the lounge) which includes a room just for friends and family.

The best way to support him is to continue working with your therapist and to be healthy.

Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

#400204 - 06/12/12 09:43 AM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
Blessedcurse Offline

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 98
Well, I would like to make some input since I have the experience of being at both sides of this problem. Being the one that cannot make promises and is afraid of commitment, and being the one that needs more commitment than he gets.

I think the matter of what is fair or right is pointless. When it comes to a relationship that is not the issue. The issue is how much you can compromise. Wich needs are neccesary and wich are not. Because if you compromise with needs that are neccesary you get bitter, strained, angry and tired in the relationship wich will not be good for any of you.

To me in both situations the solution has been making the requested commitment. It was not marriage but it was promising a life together. In my current relationship I'm the one in need of commitment while my partner was for two years considdering moving across the country. I waited and was patient but eventually I started noticing that I was on my way out of the relationship. I started to ajust to the possibility of not having a future together. This led to me being less interested in my partner, spending more time away, not feeling the need to tell him about stuff in my life and so on. My partner then started to feel insequre and abandoned, of course, and complained about my distancing. I explained that in a relationship (with me) you can not take more sequrity than you give. That is just how I work. I can not give stability and sequrity to someone that does'nt give it back. Not everybode funktion like me but this is how it is.

After some serious discussions he made the decision to commit and give up his plans of moving wich made me feel secure enough to re-commit as well.

So what I'm saying is that I think you need to find out your own needs and limitations and be honest about them. That is the only way and no book can tell you about that.

Sorry about my spelling, this is not my original language.

#400437 - 06/14/12 08:55 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
patientlywaiting Offline

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 16
Loc: New York
Well, now I've gone and done it. We had a fight last night about everything. It started with him being super-lovey as I was trying to concentrate on what I was doing. I got annoyed and said "can I please finish what I'm doing first? You've been mentally gone the past 4 days and now you're having a good day so I should drop everything?" Probably not the best way to have reacted, but I can't be at his beckon call when he decides to "be there" in our relationship.

I hurt him, and I know that. However, I can't be ignored for close to a week because he's been so in his own head that we don't talk at all when he gets home from work besides the obligatory "how was your day?"

He said I don't understand what it's like for him, and that sometimes he'll be withdrawn. He compared this to me not being able to understand his inability to commit to marriage in the future in order for me to feel secure in our relationship. So, then marriage was brought up again. He tried to make me feel bad about it, saying "you know that's just a label, right?" So right now, we're letting our relationship just "be," but I told him that I don't think I'll be able to stay if he doesn't know if he'll marry me or not in the future.

I don't know if I have the strength to continue on with this relationship. I feel worn out emotionally (it's been an especially bad few weeks: he says he thinks he's in "crisis mode"). What is crisis mode?

Ultimately, I want him to get the help he deserves (and needs), but I'm not sure that my needs are aligning with his right now, and he needs to focus on his recovery. Has anyone felt like this with their partners (or exes for that matter)?

#400439 - 06/14/12 09:24 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 542
Loc: U.S.A.
Look, Patiently Waiting, it's natural for someone with issues to rationalize marriage to someone they want to stay around, by saying it's just a label. But it's not just a label. And after 4 years, the honest truth is, the honest fact is, you are using valuable time of your life waiting for him.

Every month you lose a chance to have a child. Women only get one shot a month. And as we get older, it's harder for us to bear a child.

It's not just a label. It's a difference between a thriving family and being single into old age with no one.

I recommend you find someone else. When he's further along his recover, THEN he can find someone he can devote his attention.

#400469 - 06/15/12 04:00 AM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
learning2luvme Offline

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 50
One word. LoVe. Do it for him and do it for you. It's what he wants and needs right now. I lived a double life and hid behind the masks of my career. Eventually....after 35 years of denial, hiding and bad decisions and after 20 years of marriage...I was forced to deal with it.

My wife had lots of reasons to say....I didn't sign up for this, and this isn't something you keep from your spouse...but the reality is that healing takes a long time. It was hard for her and hard for me. I've been doing EMDR therapy for a year. I still have crappy days and I have good days. I could not make the progress I have made without the uncontional support and LoVe from my wife.

What's most important is that out of all this ugliness, my relationship with my wife has only grown stronger and deeper. Her unconditional love helps me to heal. I love her more every day because she did not give up on me and she easily could have.

Your fiance needs you. Love him. Love yourself. Give him time. Out of unconditional love and ugliness....I promise something beautiful will emerge and you'll know it's time to get married and you'll enjoy a lifetime side by side. Don't rush it. Love him. He will heal and you'll have the deepest love that a traditional couple never gets the opportunity to know.

Best wishes. Hang in there. It's worth it. Don't rush into'll know when it's the right time.

#400488 - 06/15/12 12:25 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
Blessedcurse Offline

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 98
Don't know but it sounds to me he doesn't respect your needs all that much. Ok he feels hurt when you don't emediately fall in his arms when he is interested in you after four days of isolation, but if he could put himself in your shoes only a little bit he would see that you have your own life, your own needs and priorities and he can't possibly expect you to just stand there waiting for him to come around. Seems self absorbed to me.

I too have periods of withdrawal and I feel rejected easily when I come back (the feeling och connection is so strong an wonderful) but that is my problem, not my partners. Of course he or she also has the right to need space or not be in the mood.

How is your relationship really? How much attention, care and respect is given to your needs?

#400498 - 06/15/12 03:10 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
patientlywaiting Offline

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 16
Loc: New York
Disappointed-It's awfully presumptuous of you to assume that I want children. Our relationship has nothing to do with that. Just because I'm a female doesn't mean that I want to have children.

learning2luvme-thank you for your advice and support. He's working on getting into therapy. It's a difficult situation as he doesn't have health insurance and can't afford the up-front cost of a therapist. He's currently working with a local non-profit to get in somewhere.

Blessedcurse-at times, he is self-absorbed. I didn't immediately fall into his arms the other night and explained to him how his withdrawing over the past few weeks had an effect on me. He understood and I think that's a step in the right direction. After reading accounts of what other wives/partners/husbands have been through in their journey of recovery, I think I've been lucky. He's never cheated on me, succumb to a debilitating addiction, or been violent towards me. He's also aware that he tends to unleash his anger in my direction and is working on not reacting like this.

Overall, our relationship is good, though we've been going through some strain lately, hence why I started this topic. He does give me attention and care (he typically spends about 1/2 hour talking and cuddling with me before bed). Last night we talked and resolved the fight and issues we've been having. My therapist suggested that when he's having a good day, that I approach him and ask him what type of support he needs from me when he's having his bad days. That way we're communicating about both of our expectations when those days occur, and each others feeling aren't hurt because we've come to a mutual understanding.

I think that it's hard to not think about marriage because a good deal of my friends from college are engaged right now. I've been denying that it has an effect on me, but I think I'm now realizing that it does. And learning2luv me, you're right; I shouldn't rush. I will know when it's the right time and heck, with everything going on right now, I don't want to be married when there's so much turmoil in his life right now.

Thanks to all who have listened and given advice. It's nice to know that there's good community support at malesurvivor.

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