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#415305 - 11/04/12 10:06 PM is love enough?
misscrespo Offline

Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45

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.

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 07:54 AM)

#415306 - 11/04/12 10:17 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
RunningOnEmpty Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia

Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/02/13 12:42 AM)

#415307 - 11/04/12 10:22 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".

#415330 - 11/05/12 02:03 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
Esposa Offline

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.

#415338 - 11/05/12 02:45 AM 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.

#415373 - 11/05/12 12:25 PM 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.

#415429 - 11/06/12 12:41 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
RunningOnEmpty Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia

Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/02/13 12:13 AM)

#415433 - 11/06/12 03:35 AM 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

#415453 - 11/06/12 07:00 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
Rowan Offline

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 8
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,

#415473 - 11/06/12 01:11 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
northernflicker Offline

Registered: 08/20/12
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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