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#415305 - 11/04/12 05:06 PM is love enough?
misscrespo Offline


Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45
I LOVE HIM

Therefore I am supportive of ALL of his abuse related issues PLUS I have a clean house, I wash his clothes, iron them, help him with his career progression, haircut, shoes, ANYTHING he wants that is in my power I will do for him because I LOVE HIM.

DOES HE LOVE ME?
if he did, wouldn't have he registered to Male Survivor or any other support group? wouldn't he have been to the doctors? wouldn't he want to have sex with me? wouldn't he stop the irrational anger? wouldn't he WANT TO DO EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER to make this relationship work?

He works and provides the money, so Am I being selfish and complaining over nothing? Are his career and work efforts enough?

I want sex with him, I want him to stop drinking all together. I want him to stop being angry most of the effing friggin time! I WANT HIM TO WANT TO RECOVER.

He always promises and does the bare minimum to make me think this time it'll be different, this time he is fully committed,and then... NOTHING.

When is enough?

or am I selfish?

Because deep down, I know he loves me.

Is love enough?

I feel stupid complaining here. He has never betrayed me the way some of the other survivors have done to their loving wives here. He has moved around the country for me. He provides for his family. He makes me laugh sometimes.

Or am I just a coward? I can't face the facts. I can't face the fact that I am tired of waiting for him to want to recover.

I wanna go home to my mother. How pathetic is that?

I am so depressed. I have lost two family members. I can't seem to find a job and my husband won't fuck me. Nothing makes me happy anymore. Why would he want to sleep with me? I have gained weight, I hardly bother looking good these days. I have a panic attack when I am outside. I've become a recluse. I don't even want to see my friends anymore. He blames me for the way I am. He doesn't know what is like to lose loved one though.

Rant over.

Apologies for the crazy message

Thanks for reading if you did.


Edited by misscrespo (02/08/13 02:54 AM)

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#415306 - 11/04/12 05:17 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
..


Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/01/13 07:42 PM)

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#415307 - 11/04/12 05:22 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
misscrespo Offline


Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45
Thank you so much for your support.

I really deeply mean it.

I was afraid people were gonna be telling me about codependency.

I know I love him, I know he loves me too. And I know we are a good team. I just feel really frustrated with all this crap sometimes.

Like you said my friend, "The effects of this crap are brutal and painful".

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#415330 - 11/04/12 09:03 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
I agree vent away...

Instead of commenting on codependency directly, let me instead say that pain is certain, suffering is choice. This goes for your husband, and it goes for you.

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#415338 - 11/04/12 09:45 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
I could have written this post--you are not alone. I wonder every day, "if he loves me, why doesn't he get help? Why does he promise me he will do certain things, and then not?" I don't know the answers as I'm still learning and am in the midst of everything in my own home, but I wanted you to know you are not alone. What helps me is writing and getting my thoughts straight in my head, doing things for me that make me feel good, and learning that I can't control what my H does. Life goes on and life is short so if he chooses to lead his life this way, then so be it. One day he will see everything he missed. So I (try) not to put my energy into efforts that will only be received with anger and doing nothing. I wish you luck and I hope you find some peace.

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#415373 - 11/05/12 07:25 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
G1psy Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13
Loc: Netherlands
Hi Misscrespo,

I think love is not enough, thats my opinion, my husband loves me, in his way, and with his capabilities,
and i love him, but i've come to think that this is sadly not enough.
Like a lot of us partners, ive been thinking about this question for some time now too..

Last year i told my husband either to work on his recovery, or i would get a divorce.

This had, in a way, nothing to do with him, it was about me.
I wasnīt trying to corner him or control him, I just couldnīt do it anymore. I was exhausted.
I have a son that also lives in this mess, and i felt i have to protect him from this.

I gave my husband a year to work on his recovery prior to this year in wich he did the bare minimum. I gave him this, a huge gift and he whiped his ass with it. That is how it felt for me.
Me and our family are not important enough to him to fight for.

My boundaries lead me to take this action.
I felt myself fading away more and more.

The other thing is, that ive been doing a lot of research on PTSD, PTSD/c.
My husband has complex ptsd, that also means he denies and tries to work around the trauma most of the time. This isnīt my husband, this is PTSD talking. Its a symptom of severe trauma.
I see him taking on responsebilities on a lot of other areas in life. But just not this one.

This denial mechanism, sort of makes it very hard to confront your issues and get help.

There is a correlation between war related PTSD, most of the soldiers suffering from it, also deny and reject help and their families are shattered and broken.
You now this is very common.
Some veterans that go untreated, even end up homeless. Losing everything.

The question is if you are doing anybody any favour by waiting untill he seeks help.
You cannot control your husband, but you can tell him what the consequenses are of his actions and state your boundaries.

You know that there is a possibility that he canīt do it. I knew that too when i presented my husband with my final boundary, either work on it, or we are through.

The situation between my husband even lead to domestic violence, I had a hystericall fit, broke some glasses, kicked my husband, cried, screamed and fell on the floor. Some of it was whitnessed by my son.

I felt i was ready to be admitted in the psychiatric hospitall.

Thats how bad is was. Thats why i couldīt do it anymore.

Used to think that i am a very stable person, atleast I thought so, untill i was confronted with my husbands serial infedelities, lies, and after all of this, his rejection, neglect, denial, silence total loss of initiative in family life.

You know, i love him. But its not enough.

My husband got help.
We talked to our son, and daddy promised to get help. And he did.

I feel heīs on the right, allthough painfull track, now.
Working on recovery, is the bare minimum.
Well for me it is.

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#415429 - 11/05/12 07:41 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
..


Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/01/13 07:13 PM)

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#415433 - 11/05/12 10:35 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Hi Misscrespo. So much of your post I can relate to. For 7 years it had been glaringly apparent that he was not "over" his CSA. He wouldn't seek therapy, he doesn't go to the doctors and stopped taking medication for high cholesterol, he didn't drink all the time but would occasionally drink so much that he would literally pass out, he was angry and irritable, selfish with his time, disconnected emotionally and disinterested in any intimacy with me. I was depressed and suffering anxiety, felt like I was managing EVERYTHING in our lives and the kids' lives myself, but felt guilty for complaining because he always went to work, was an involved Dad and he never had a complaint about me. I wondered so many nights if I was the problem... But after a lot of work getting my self back, dealing with my depression and anxiety, joining a gym and getting healthy, I finally realized that I was still unhappy. I knew I loved him more than anything and could not imagine my life without him. I even asked him your question, "If you really love me as deeply as you say, why don't you want to do everything in your power to make this relationship work??"

When boxed in like this he would start changing a few things, but never the big thing (healing and recovery from his CSA). He would do only the bare minimum to keep things going for a while longer, but then I would realize he was just going through the motions and not putting in the real work. I would try to remain positive, but time and again things would slip back to the way they were.

When I joined Male Survivor and started to learn from other partners and survivors, I slowly came to realize that I was still part of the problem. I begged, cried, yelled, demanded, manipulated and waited for him to change things, but I never really drew the line in the sand. I never actually set a boundary of respect about what I needed, expected and was not willing to accept from our relationship and what the eventual consequences would be if my needs were not met. I realized that my needs were valid and fair and "normal" and I had every right to set boundaries around them because they defined what it was that would ultimately allow our marriage to bring me joy. I learned that I could not actively change him, control him or force him... all I could do was ask for what I needed and move on if he was unwilling to attempt to provide for those needs. I learned that I could still love him immensely and want him in my life while simultaneously saying I could not live with this or that and be prepared to let go of the outcome.

I am a strong, confident, articulate and assertive woman. I know this about myself so the idea that I was allowing this to happen to myself and had never actually learned how to have boundaries in our relationship seemed bizarre and just impossible to me. Yet, the more I learned about boundaries, the more I realized I really had no idea how to set them. With boundaries now in place, I no longer feel guilty for having wants and needs. I am also more patient, loving and accepting to actually wait while he attempts to learn how to meet those wants and needs. See, when I calmly, lovingly and firmly set my boundaries, he realized that we were at a turning point. He realized that I was prepared to let go of the outcome if he chose not to make any changes so that he could start respecting my boundaries. My happiness and joy was worthwhile enough to risk losing him... but I didn't lose him. Instead I got my husband back! He is far from healed and still stumbles a lot, but he is finally working hard in therapy. He is more connected, more loving, more self-aware, less angry AND we are intimate again. Not as regular as I would like to see us and we have made some accommodations while he works through his past, but after going for almost a year at a time between any sort of sexual encounter, this is awesome.

He always loved me enough, but as long as I had not set this boundary, his fear, pain and conditioning was just too strong a competitor. Sometimes a survivor has to realize that they are letting everything that is truly important to them slip away before they have the courage to take meaningful steps towards recovery. At the end of the day, it is still their choice. He is in control of his choices and the direction of his recovery, I no longer say "you should" to him, but he is responsible to me for my needs and boundaries. Of course, this goes both ways.

It is such a terrible, disheartening, confusing and lonely place to be where you are right now. I hope you can find the clarity to start making little changes in your life just for yourself. With each new change, you may find the momentum to make more changes until one day, you feel really positive about yourself. It seems counter-intuitive, but when we separate ourselves from our partner, we find we are free to be closer to them. There was absolutely nothing I could do, ever, that would have had any impact on his pain and self-loathing, so I had to disconnect from any responsibility to it and start simply loving him while respecting my needs and setting my boundaries.

Good luck to you and I wish you two the very best.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#415453 - 11/06/12 02:00 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
Rowan Offline


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 8
Hi.
Over a year ago I found this website and asked for advice. I had reconnected with a man I dated in high school. At the time I posted we had been dating for 2 years. He had commitment issues. I received some great advice here, I read books and I suggested my boyfriend come to this website. He did end up giving me a commitment and we tried out the relationship until I caught him lying to me (several times). I told him that unless he started therapy, I had to walk away. He wouldn't. For the next 4 months he has asked me to marry him almost every day via email, texts and calls. I told him no.

So reading this thread is where I am today. This question about love being enough. I have talked to him about getting help. That we couldn't navigate our relationship without it. And when he wouldn't I left. He's been so upset, told me he couldn't eat or sleep and he stopped telling me he loved me, instead he'd say he "needed" me. I can't explain, it was like he wasn't talking to me as me, it was more like I was a warm body to cling to. I told him I couldn't, I said that me getting out of the relationship had nothing to do with not loving him, I will always love him. I told him that I couldn't allow him to continue to hurt me and I couldn't continue to hurt him. He'd be unfaithful and lie, I'd be devastated and the things we'd say to each other was too heartbreaking to bare.

He backed off for a month or so and I haven't heard from him until last week. He told me that he was sorry for hurting me. He said that he is back in therapy and that he is starting to see where he has done a lot of pretending that he didn't realize he was doing and that he was glad I called him out on it. He said that he feels I was an addiction and he knows now he never loved me. He wanted me to know he really, really did try to love me but he never loved anyone (including his ex wife/mother of his children)but his kids. He told me he hoped one day I can forgive him. He said that he knew the right man was out there waiting for me, the one who I was meant to be with. I said, "I thought it was you"... he told me he had to go.

Laying down that boundary was so hard for me because I wanted to believe he could love me. I stuck to my guns and he went off and started therapy and came clean with how he really feels. What can I say to that? Ahhh.... thanks? Validation is really over rated. I'd rather have believed that he loved me in the way he knew how instead of now knowing I was nothing more than a pornography tool he used to get off. We do live in different states. We see each other every other weekend. I was willing to move to where he lives if he started working on himself, I would go to therapy too. But how could he have been sexually addicted to me/our relationship when I have known him off and on for so many years?

And to make it worse, his therapist believes our relationship is unhealthy (of course) so he wouldn't be contacting me again. But he is sorry and wants me to be happy. I am the one who encouraged him to get help. I mean, what are you gonna do? I'm an unhealthy relationship.

No. Love is not enough when someone you love was hurt by someone who supposedly "loved" him. I don't believe some victims of csa know how to love until they have years of therapy. I think all my love for him did was make him mistrust me more. I'm not saying that is the rule for every abused man in a relationship but boy, I never knew this would be dropped in my lap. I never once in our relationship felt I was an addiction.

Peace to all,
Rowan

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#415473 - 11/06/12 08:11 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Rowan, I'm right there with you. My estranged husband professed his love for me not two weeks after we'd begun dating. I'd thought it was weird but went with it. I grew to love him and the person I believed him to be. But he wasn't that person at all.

I was not an addiction for my husband but instead a distraction, a bandaid and a veil. Right after I found him lying and cheating I threw him out. Disnt find out about the extent of the lies until we were separated, and the CSA almost a year later. It was then that it all makes sense.

Last time I saw him and he did the push/pull with me yet again I implored him to tell me my marriage is over and that he doesn't love me. He could tell me my marriage was over but he could not say he doesn't love me. Said he wouldn't say it because he didn't want to hurt me anymore. Yet I told him that saying it would set me free.

So I loved him and respected him and did everything in my power to successfully preserve his relationship with his adult daughter from his first marriage. But it wasn't enough for him to get help or our marriage to survive.

So no, in my opinion love is not enough. You also need self awareness, honesty and a willingness to truly trust and be vulnerable.

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#415477 - 11/06/12 08:54 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Hi Northern! How are you doing otherwise? You were looking into a new job and possibly a new start in a new city. I hope you are finding a positive direction for yourself that brings you joy, even if it is mixed with some sadness from your loss. All the best to you.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#415486 - 11/06/12 09:44 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Hey CdnDW! Sure do wish I could say things are awesome. I totally messed up the interview in the new city so that's off the board. I have a couple of other options that I'm following up but it's tough to stay optimistic.

The past couple of years have been so unbelievably stressful due to work and my marriage falling apart. I believe that we protect ourselves by not facing things until we're ready. It's only recently that I can see the extent of the destruction my husband's choices placed on me. I'm trying to not be a victim but it's tough. Plus I'm lonely but it's tough to meet ppl at my age and in my situation. I find it hard to let ppl in and when I do, BAM! This shit happens.

So enough of the moaning! I'm hoping I won't sabotage the next opportunity and that I'll get to a secure place soon enough. Thanks for checking in CdnDW. Sounds like things are headed in a positive direction for you. I'm happy to heard it.

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#415490 - 11/06/12 11:40 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1585
Loc: California
I don't have a lot to say in this reply, but I strongly urge you to go to (RUN!) some Alanon meetings. These meetings are designed for people who have relationships with loved ones with alcohol (drug) issues. Alanon will teach you how to love yourself and respect the relationship with honesty and compassion.

It is unfortunate that your husband is doing what he is doing (or not), but ultimately it is his choice. You can't control his behavior, nor can you cure him. He has to take those steps of his own accord.

The best thing you can do for him is to be the best human being you can possibly be. Alanon will show you the way.

D

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#415501 - 11/06/12 02:36 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
Mel78 Offline


Registered: 10/26/12
Posts: 16
Loc: North Carolina
OH how I could've written this thread.

Is love enough? No, but honest love, unconditional love, are absolutely the basis for everything else. What the hell else would possess us to stick around and fight through things?

Let's be real, this sucks. Its sucks to be cheated on, it sucks to feel like everything you want or need comes secondary to the crap that happened to the man you love before you loved him. It sucks not being touched or validated or made to feel important compared to the CSA. So the question you have to ask yourself is... do you really love him? is it love that holds you in place? is it love that keeps you fighting? Is it your pride? Is it fear? Is it self-preservation? We do many many things out of fear.

Boundaries. Set them. Appreciate them. Breathe Again. Take back some of the power that his CSA has taken from YOU!

((((HUGS)))
_________________________
Everything rides on hope now, everything rides on faith some how, when the world has broken me down YOUR love sets me free....
-Addison Road

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#415705 - 11/08/12 04:18 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
Loving someone else is not enough. We have to love ourselves. That goes for our Hs too. They need to love themselves enough to want to get better. And we need to love ourselves enough to be able to create a life we love. (Al-anon is a good place to start).

It has taken me a long long time to get here. LOVE is nothing. There are a whole lot of practical, very unsexy things that make relationships work. And often, survivors and codependents are sadly lacking in those things (I know I certainly was). LOVE between two people is a product of that, not the creator of it.

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#415730 - 11/08/12 08:33 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: Esposa]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Well said, Esposa! Especially like this part:

Originally Posted By: Esposa
LOVE between two people is a product of that, not the creator of it.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#416759 - 11/20/12 11:27 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
misscrespo Offline


Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45
wow!

Thanks everyone for posting! I am so glad to know that I have (and deserve) support!

I want to apologize for not replying sooner.

Unfortunately, I have been hospitalized for a while. I had pneumonia and I was generally too exhausted and asthmatic to do anything. But I am feeling a lot better now.

I have read all of the responses and I understand where you are all coming from.

Being in hospital was quite scary, I had to had adrenaline shots and oxygen as I couldn't breath. Two of the people in my ward sadly passed away.

But I have taken this time in hospital as a realization. I cannot continue the way I am. I am definitely determined to set my boundaries.

Just because we love each other does not mean we are meant to be together. It pains me so much to say this it's unreal. It literally feels like my heart is being ripped apart. But I gotta do what I gotta do.

I always felt I could cope with anything regarding his abuse, because I thought we were partners and I have his back the same way he would have mine.

But with the death of my sisters and becoming really depressed I didn't realize that he did NOT have my back. I carried him and loved him at his darkest, but when I needed him the most, he was to scared to see me like this, so instead he went on self-destruct mode and hoped I'd get better on my own. Only adding to my worries.

I can see it all clearly now.

So I have set my boundaries. He has one year to get his act together. This is not a threat, it's a fact. I AM EXHAUSTED and I can't pull both our weights anymore. Meanwhile I have joined the gym today, and have been for a walk, I have done my make up, and tomorrow I will get my hair done. I have also bought some new clothes and I am generally pampering my well deserved break. Since I've had no luck with jobs, I have decided to go back to university and study to become a teacher. My course begins next year and I am very excited about it.

I have learned everything that is valuable from my mother. She has been through hell and back more than once and she is a true survivor, and so am I.

I believe (or want to believe) my partner is a trooper too, but I am on my way up, and it is up to him, to come and join me.

So far, it does seem he has understood what I am saying. He went to the doctor today, and apologized for his horrid behavior during the last year or so. (forgive me for being cynical) But I have seen it all before, so I'll believe it when I see it. Today is 2 days alcohol free. I know it sounds like nothing, but looks promising... we'll see

I will keep you updated

Thanks again for the support and love.

I always end up in tears when I visit malesurvivor but I am thankful for it being here

xoxo

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#504523 - 12/01/16 08:20 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
WontGiveUp Offline


Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 217
This thread, I could have written everything in it. Seems I am at the same place that so many partners come to.

I love the concept of taking back my power that HIS CSA took from me.

I, like you guys, supported him and was there by his side in his darkest hours, and just like you guys - he ran away from me during mine because it turned into being about HIM and HIS needs and HIS fears. Leaving me behind to pick up the mess, get through it on my own, because its too hard for him to be around. He thinks its to hard to witness, and yet he leaves me alone to fumble through the dark, hoping that I dont loose myself in the grief of the death of my mother and before that my late husband (who was my best friend, and who my current husband accepted). Battling the stress of an injury to my back that changed me physically in ways that I am JUST now overcoming. Loosing myself in the darkness of depression and loneliness of never feeling like I matter, that I am seen.

And then to be told so many times that yes, his future is with me, he loves me and wants to do what it takes.... until it comes time to actually DO the uncomfortable things. Then its - no I have to leave you, I cant be a good husband, I need to do what I WANT to do and not have responsibilities... and then there is more darkness for me, realizing that all the times I invested in him, in us, in building our life, always with the promise that soon he will be there for me, that I am "not alone"... until I am right?

Sorry - i am rambly. i am stressed. I love my husband to the moon and back again infinite times. I am making decisions about him leaving out of love. But I find myself falling back into the trap of hope. And when I catch myself, it hurts. Because I cannot lie to myself and pretend that he will be there. He is leaving and I will be ok. My mantra, the only thing that I can tell myself. And its the truth, I will be. I am a strong person, I have learned to be strong.

My husband has warped views of himself, of me, of what love is, and he has absolutely NO concept of commitment - until its a commitment to HIM.

He doesnt have my back as much as he likes to say he does. Because when its time to prove that - he runs, leaving me behind on the battlefield, never looking back to see if I am ok, because all he sees is his own reflection.

I know he wasnt born that way. I know thats not what he WANTS to be. I think he believes he is genuine, and I think he is in the moment. But he lacks the fortitude of follow through. I hope he finds his way one day. The idea that he stays lost forever is too much to bear sometimes.

I want to be supportive, but I am so very tired. SO many things are in my shoulder bag right now that I cannot put down. You know - like that old saying about releasing your burdens? If only...

I know he understands. He is extraordinarily brilliant, though he plays dumb. He acts like he doesnt know what to do - but he does, I watch him with others. But they arent a threat. They wont have expectations that he means what he says when he says it. They arent there every day looking back into his eyes expecting him to keep his word and to be genuine.

Sorry - I am just writing my thoughts. I am sure that this is just the fallout from what was actually a lovely holiday. I think reading this thread brought a dose of reality to my life that I was clearly loosing a grasp on.

My husband is a better man than he knows. But because he doesn't know it, he is abandoning me, our life, our home.
_________________________
*** rising from the ashes like a phoenix ***

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#504529 - 12/02/16 07:01 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2523
Loc: durham, north england
Alternative view here.

For me at least, love was and is enough. I was in the most god awful mess (see some of my posts from pre last august), I got out of that mess thanks to the fact that my lady, who is now my wife loves me and I love her.

"love" however means putting someone else's needs first. Taudry example, this afternoon we're going back to my parents for the weekend and we needed to wash the dishes before leaving.

I usualy wash and my wife usually dries, however I pointed out that we could leave the stuff on the drainer so there wasn't a need for her to bother this time. She said she felt guilty about leaving me with the washing up, I told her not to worry, I loved her, and anyway I was more than used to doing it for myself having lived alone for pretty much all of my adult life (and besides I could go on reading my very awesome fantasy novel while I did so).

Of course, I could have said "well I'm busy checking male surviver could you please wash up this time" and she would've done it, but that is just not something I'd do, anymore than I'd have said "well I'm a man so it's not my job"

The same goes for Sa recovery, and in particular recovery from my genophobia. I was entirely honest about the sa, about what happened, even before we got together I told her that though I loved her she'd be better without me, indeed my wife has been amazing herself, everything from giving me my first kiss to very gently and beautifully showing me that making love doesn't have to be like my abuse.

I do not love myself. I know this is a consequence of my csa, but it is still something I can't fix, loving myself to me seems arrogant, selfish, unreasonable. I love my wife though, and know she loves me, and therefore will do literally anything not to hurt her, and she's said exactly the same, heck, she's moved countries to be with me.

In some ways I suppose you could say our relationship is extremely wrong, since we both are so very focused upon the other person, indeed debates of the sort "what do you want for dinner tonight" "well what do you! want" are rather common.

Of course we have our off days, triggers make me panic, make me defensive, and I do have a negative streak that I know is sometimes hard to deal with.

However, for me at least, I can say love was enough, albeit love in a very complete, practical, and indeed quite scary sense.
Sorry if this is a little incoherent, I need to dash.

Luke.

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#504538 - 12/02/16 10:38 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: dark empathy]
Ceremony Offline


Registered: 09/14/16
Posts: 908
Loc: Minnesota
Being a failure, as much as knowing the same as you Luke (I don't love myself), the hurt I inflict on myself is deep. I read from others here, their guilt about making others suffer from the self inflicted derision, worthlessness, and failure thinking. My wife has been rigidly against the self victim mantle, or yoke I carry. She screams sometimes that I am a failure, and tricked her! She comes from a family without rape victims, alcoholic pot smokers, and self pity whiners like me!

She's been treating me badly. I'm very hurt. I do tell her. My T wants me to be genuine and cry with the hurt. I'm not sure it will happen easily? The circumstances to do that need trust and hope, both of which die quickly with her words. Men say "leave!"; Once, a few months ago, I was given women's shelter numbers, for the shelters that might take men.

Do you know what that feels like? Really? To be the emotionally battered husband? And telling so, many times to my wife, and I've got recordings going back years to show what I mean. She denies it outright, that my playing the victim is always keeping me down, at the same time she's denying I'm allowed the hurt. 3 decades, ....... the only woman I have been with....... fear of failure, fear of homelessness, fear of losing my son.... I would rather die! I'll run my car at 120.... can't lose my son, my daughters absence nearly destroyed me. Youth saved me then, now I'm a wreck of a man, no good for getting good things. I'm a failure. You can't know, you don't know me enough. It's painful to explain the 3 main points of failure.

1)Age and seriously over-weight
2)Fearful and failed memory retention
3)Too caught up in fear to do steps that make anything better.

And I'm alone, no one to talk to. No friends, a burden to others, useless.

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#504539 - 12/02/16 10:46 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
WontGiveUp Offline


Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 217
Luke,

Thank you so much for chiming in here.... Honestly, you seem like a unicorn :-). Rare and special! Reading your posts, I am always amazed at your perspective, your bravery (and yes, that is 100% what it is to put your self in a place where you are vulnerable, especially when its uncomfortable or scary or both), your kindness, and your amazing empathy for supporting partners.

I love that for you, love IS enough. I love that you put you partner first and she puts you first. When each partner gives the other their best - both partners GET the best.

you said this: "In some ways I suppose you could say our relationship is extremely wrong, since we both are so very focused upon the other person, indeed debates of the sort "what do you want for dinner tonight" "well what do you! want" are rather common. "

Who ever would say your relationship with your wife is extremely wrong is crazy! The love and generosity you both share is inspiring. I have read your posts for a long time, and I can with 100% belief say that love saved you. But not just her love for you. I think your willingness to accept love, and to turn around and GIVE love (true love, love that is a verb, love that is doing for your partner because you WANT to, like you said, doing the dishes as a gesture of love for her) - I think that saved you.

You can receive love, but it will never be enough until you return it and experience that joy. Its scary though - scary for CSA survivors and those who have not experienced CSA. I understand that CSA survivors have a whole set of compulsions and fears that non-survivors dont, but we nons still experience fear in the process.

But once you open yourself up to truly recieve love, and accept that its love with out an ulterior motive (control, manipulation, power) - you can then turn around and GIVE that same love back. And that my friend is pure beautiful magic.

I think Love IS enough when both partners ACT WITH LOVE. Love isnt a feeling - its a verb. Its putting your partner first. Its sacrifice, its work. The benefits you get from that work are unspeakably wonderful. Better than anything else in life.

Thanks so much Luke - again you have inspired me! :-)
_________________________
*** rising from the ashes like a phoenix ***

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#504591 - 12/05/16 09:27 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2523
Loc: durham, north england
Ironically, I've tried to reply to this topic three or four times, and each time been interupted for one thing or another.

@Ceremony, Why is accepting help humiliating? Sorry after my wife's own emotional abuse by her first husband and the sociopath who followed I just don't have tolerance for this sort of thing. Why should you be denied the right to be hurt if your a man?

Believe me, I recognize worthlessness. I live with it like a second skin. Any description of myself would run thus five foot ten, dark hair, thirty four years old, worthless. I see my own face in the mirror, I cringe. If I'm out in public I have to struggle to not imagine people are seeing me as disgusting, like a shambling ape. If I write or cook or sing or do anything else, I hate my own efforts, can only be harsh and self critical.

The one weapon I've found against this sense of worthlessness, is simply to accept it. I know I think this of myself, so I realize that I am biased. I do not pay attention to my own opinions of myself, anymore than I'd pay attention to the opinions of someone who was biased against me for some other reason, like someone who hated all disabled people, all men, all caucasians etc.
I cannot shift this perception of myself, but neither do I have to care about it. This is where my wife has helped me, since while I have no idea why! she loves me, and sometimes the person she describes is a stranger, at the same time I cannot deny the fact she does love me.

@Won't give up, I don't know about special, since I can certainly say I have my off days, as does my wife since we're both definitely human. I'll also say we did have at least a few advantages.
My wife cannot have children, I have never wanted children, so we can pretty much just please ourselves and be focused on each other. This is not to cryticise people who have children, just that I recognize the extra emotional strain.

The reason I said our relationship could be thought of as a bit wrong is that we are so very dependent upon each other, indeed we have to be quite careful with things like requests and who does what, just because we're always conscious of the other person.

In terms of sa, I actually had told my wife a little before we got together. Indeed since she was with someone else, I thought she was better off without me.
Of course, I'd been on male surviver since 2007, and been to see a councillor in 2014. I'd never say i was better, but this at least did let me know where I physically was myself, albeit I seemed to have reached a point where my life was entirely stuck, unable to progress and I was just lost in a loop, indeed I thought I'd be spending the next fourty years in the same place since I couldn't see any way forward with relationships, friends, even my vocation.

One of the few advantages of genophobia, is that we had! to be practical about it, since there was just no other way of dealing with it, indeed I was amazed that after reading Alex Comfort's book, what he recommended a s/xual therapist do for dealing with genophobia was exactly what my lady had done fairly instinctively.

Luke.

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#504594 - 12/05/16 10:37 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
KMCINVA Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3480
I think love is a foundation but by itself can a building be built on top? I wish I had the answer.

I know when love is not expressed, for it can for some be buried in the heart, it is destructive and harms the souls. Sometimes survivors cannot find or feel the love, they retreat into themselves through addictions, loneliness, dissociation, and other means to protect themselves from a pain that is so deep and crippling for many. As my T, doctors and others who have worked with trauma have said only the survivor can feel the depth of the pain and the supporters are there to give empathy, love and support while ensuring their own well being.

I know pain, torment and other inflicting triggers is destructive and can cause a survivor to self destruct, to implode. Should the converse being love have the opposite impact--in time it will for many and for others the survivor cannot find themselves and life just passes by.

I believe without love the foundation to build on is not present and the structure will be fragile. I wish I had the answer. Only together can you build the home, you have the foundation in the love you have but one cannot carry it alone.

I love love and when my friend is here I have a different sense of life. When she leaves I am pushed back to the world of remembering and reliving triggers and torment which resurrects the visceral and visual memories of the abuse. So love can be the catalyst to a survivors healing but hate, abandonment, lies and denials of the abuse by others may unravel the positivity of love.

I guess the answer lies within each of us.

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#504595 - 12/05/16 11:02 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
WontGiveUp Offline


Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 217
KMCINVA, yeah - I think you are right about survivors, but I really think that applies to everyone, not JUST survivors. I know a ton of people who just do not allow them selves to feel love, or they are just too self centered to "act in love" - and that doesnt mean pretend you are loving, it means making decisions and doing actions from the perspective of love.

I know with my husband, he retreats into addictions, retreats and thinks he is not capable etc. But the reality he IS, and HAS shown love at times (before he falls back into the fog) - but love is not selfish, and he absolutely IS selfish. Its not a state of being he can maintain for long. I feel really sorry for him because being in the state of real love, though sometimes hard, is wonderful and beautiful in ways that I just cannot describe.

First step is to getting to that state is understanding that being in the state of real/true love has very little to do with those romantic feelings you get - that butterflies in the stomach thing. Thats there to get you started - but real love, that comes later, that solid faith and believe in your partner and trust that they have your back (even when you are fighting). The butterflies come and go, being romantic comes and goes with the tide. If someone tries to base "being in true love" on that - they will never ever be happy and float from relationship to relationship until they are finally alone.

That might be fine for people - and if so - more power to them! But it is not what I want. I want something deeper, something real and tangible. And I do think that when you DO have that real true, honest to goodness love that IS enough, because its when you start looking to give your partner the best in you. And they in turn give the best of them to you. I believe with my whole heart when two people give the best of themselves to eachother there is NOTHING they cannot accomplish.

But you get no where if your partner undercuts you and keeps the best for themselves while expecting the best out of you. That dynamic is unsustainable. You will go empty, and the fires go out.

Thats my personal opinion of course, but made through experience and education on relationship dynamics. I would love for everyone here to find themselves in a situation where they are in a true loving relationship. Everyone deserves that support, that trust, that absolute understanding that they have someone there for them who has their back.


It takes 2 though. And while there will be times that are hard, and there will be crisis. Get through them together and the reward is nothing short of incredible.
_________________________
*** rising from the ashes like a phoenix ***

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#504612 - 12/06/16 12:48 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
HealingHope Offline


Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 189
@kmcinva thank you for sharing this, I feel it captures my perception of where my survivor finds himself too. For me my love for him will always be enough and I know it's the thing he used to struggle to understand, he'd say I shouldn't love him because I think he found it a torment because he felt he wasn't worthy and trapped in his situation to give me the love and life he wanted to give me. I wish every day that he would return to me, because when we were in the moment together it truly was beautiful. A friend of ours told us both we're so much better for each other together and a mess apart. It's true. How you've described your friend is how it's felt for us too, we literally ascended to the perfect place of joy and love, but maybe that's why it never seemed to last because perhaps he felt it was another world, one he couldn't maintain because of the complexed situation he couldn't leave.
I will never stop loving him and will never give up on hope. I believe that love is enough, it's energy is the most powerful thing on earth, but we need faith too and so I've always said I have enough hope and faith for the both of us. His strength and courage to get through everyday is where my love was born for him, and just sharing this has reminded me just how proud of him I am and I will never stop loving this man.

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