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#408201 - 08/28/12 03:01 PM help for myself and help for my husband
RachelMac Offline

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
I knew for about a year and a half now that my husband was abused. I think that is how long he has known himself. At the time I found out, I was of course worried but it didn't seem to affect him so terribly until the past 8 or 9 months I would say. Maybe that is when he started to really think about things. Just the other day I learned just how dark a place it is that my husband lives in his mind. It scared me to hear his thoughts about suicide, hopelessness and feeling worthless. He is such a wonderful person but he doesn't see it.

Now that I know the seriousness of everything, I feel like we are in crisis mode. I have a few questions about getting help for myself and for him.

I feel like I need some sort of therapy to heal myself and the pain I've felt over the past year (I've felt rejection by him, anger, etc.). I also want to understand better what he is going through so that maybe I can react in a better way when he tells me he is not in the mood, etc. For spouses of survivors, is individual therapy or couples therapy more effective in your opinion?

Also, my husband agreed to get help. There are a few group therapy meetings near us he can attend. Is this the best route or would he benefit from individual therapy as well? I'm concerned because he seems to have written off the idea of help already. He is willing to go, but thinks nothing can fix him. He feels ruined and worthless and doesn't see how hearing other peoples horrific stories will do him any good. He thinks it will cause him more pain. He thinks it will be like AA or NA, which only helped him to a point.

Sorry for the long winded post. Any advice would be appreciated. I know it is his journey but I want him to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Did anyone else think that nothing could help them but once you go to a meeting you changed your mind on that? Thanks for your honest responses.

#408204 - 08/28/12 03:35 PM Re: help for myself and help for my husband [Re: RachelMac]
scottyg Offline

Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 289
Loc: Seattle
1. If you want to understand your situation read this forum. In the "user list" link at the top up there type in herowannabe or esposa or havenlost and read their treads. You will get a full education.

2. You need to heal as individuals. If you want to get a therapist fine, but he needs to get his own. There are many modalities for therapy out there. Not everyone needs to see a CSA specialist but some will. I had a lot of success with a Cognative Behavioral Therapy model. He may, too. CBT retrains you not to keep think like we he thinks now. Problem is HE has to want to do the work. Has to want to change not give it lip service.

3. MS is nothing like AA. I hate AA and I really understand why he wants to avoid that dynamic. It is yucky to me, too. The big difference is an AA meeting is this purge where everyone talks but no one comments. The only feedback is the steps. Here, we all comment on what each other says. Perhaps a little too much...hehehe. I encourage you to try to bring him into the fold here. It's not so much about awful stories as it is about understanding our pain and finding healing.


#408281 - 08/29/12 07:03 AM Re: help for myself and help for my husband [Re: RachelMac]
whome Offline

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

Sorry for what you are going through.
Yes yes yes you do need some sort of therapy or at least support, someone like Al-Anon could be a good options (and cheap) People in al-Anon have similar experience and it is a great support group that helps you deal with your issues. Coda is also a great options for you. Couples therapy is a good option Once he has dealt with his past.

For him Group is a better option IF IT IS A SURVIVOR GROUP. if it is something like SSA or AA it will help a bit but wont get into his past in to much detail.
He will of course not like the idea of this because it is going to open a can of worms that is going to cause him a LOT of emotional and mental pain, BUT this is short lived. Once you have dealt with this horrible past, the freedom you gain from being free of this past is amazing.
A good group will not talk about other peoples horror stories, after all everyone in the group has the same history, and the degrees of hurt end with the same result anyway, a damaged and emotionally disconnected man.
You are not long winded, only afraid, afraid of what lies ahead, but that is fine, because you at least have chosen to find wisdom and knowledge. He will only see a light at the end of the tunnel once he starts talking to other men about their pasts and suddenly sees that he is not alone, that he is not the only one. There is great release in finding out that you are not as messed up as someone else, that these thoughts that you had in your head are shared by other. Weird but there is strength in unity, the crazy brotherhood that we call male survivors.

I hope this helps, and feel free to PM anytime.

Heal well
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#408319 - 08/29/12 06:35 PM Re: help for myself and help for my husband [Re: RachelMac]
shortieg Offline

Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
I agree with pp. I am a spouse of a survivor.. I will tell you it is unreal how it sucks you in. As far as counseling,I am soooo happy to hear he is willing to go.. That means he realizes something isn't right.
we did couples and individuals therapy. It helped because we both were able to lay stuff on the table, but he and I also had a safe place to just talk about my/his issues. I hope your journey is a little better than mine, he went to counseling yet didn't accept it, so for years even though he was going it never got better.
The feeling of being alone and not feeling wanted by your husband is something so incredibly painful and it will take a great deal of time to heal.
In this process I learned you can't really ever understand what is going through their head, you just have to be there and be understanding that he is working through things.

Remind him of his good qualities, why you married him, what you saw. Keep it as positive as you can, because you are dealing with some serious demons..

Good luck to you. You can pm me anytime.


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