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#420486 - 12/31/12 01:37 AM having baby a trigger? need help with husband
remaininghopeful Offline

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
My husband is completely spiraling - distancing, running, staying out all night, drinking, smoking pot, other women.
At first, I thought everything going on was because he was unhappy in our marriage, that he thought I became a nagging bitch due to hormones and lack of sleep after the baby was born, that he thought he lost me, something I did made him feel I didn't love him anymore...
But after going on this site and reading others' stories, it seems like classic behavior. Does this happen a lot after having a child? I'm guessing that having a baby can trigger all sorts of emotions, from added stress to thinking about one's lost childhood.
I'm not sure what to do. Our beautiful, joyful, magical baby boy is turning one soon and his father isn't really around or reliable. I know that he's in pain, but he's turned it on me, that I'm to blame because I don't trust him.
He thinks that he'll move out for a few months, work on things and come back, but I doubt this to be true, especially with his current state.
He doesn't think I know about the CSA, but I do. So I can't recommend he check out websites like this for support.
He started seeing a shrink which was a huge step for him, but I think the guy prescribed bad meds for PTSD which kicked off the drinking and drug use.
Klonopin and prozac combo. Anyone have experience with klonopin? I called the doctor when I thought the meds were having a bad effect and his therapist (who he rarely sees) also expressed her concern that he was off.
And the guy must be a quack because he told my husband that we were trying to interfere and let him do his job.
I know that klonopin is used with caution for PTSD and I don't know if this dr knows about his past and the drugs/drinking.
The drinking has me really scared not just because it's bad to mix with klonopin, but because my husband hates alcohol. His father was an abusive alcoholic (so he had that before he was sexually abused for years)and he's also a Muslim. He hasn't had anything to drink for a very, very long time.
I know everyone talks about tough love and setting boundaries. I just don't know what to do. He hasn't officially moved out yet. He's just not around, stays out all night, comes and goes when he wants to see the kid or the other night when he came home drunk and admitted he missed me and begged me not to leave him. I also support him financially because he's a student and I can't afford to pay for two households as well as the daycare I now have to pay for since he's not reliable as the caregiver.
What should I do? I've trying to focus on myself and the baby and I know it's not my fault, but it doesn't make things less heartbreaking and terrifying.

Edited by remaininghopeful (12/31/12 02:13 AM)

#420489 - 12/31/12 02:49 AM Re: having baby a trigger? need help with husband [Re: remaininghopeful]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
Sorry. Sorry that you are going through this. You are not alone.

Decide what your ideal life looks like, communicate it clearly to him, perhaps in writing and then stand your ground. Anything less is bad for you and bad for your baby, and ultimately bad for your husband. Be the beacon of stability and hope and love.

Compassion doesn't mean caving in and putting up with disrespect and hurtful behavior. Compassion means setting your boundaries and communicating your expectations - and then being reliable in their enforcement. Be the thing he can count on, you can count on, that your baby can count on.

"I love you. This is what HERE is going to look like from today forward. If you want to be HERE, then none of this behavior will work anymore."

It is heart breaking and terrifying but we are here for you. The greatest change will come when you begin living a life that you love.

#420493 - 12/31/12 03:37 AM Re: having baby a trigger? need help with husband [Re: remaininghopeful]
SamV Offline

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5972
Loc: Sunnny, South East USA
It is important to get the support you need through groups like CODA, Co Dependents Anonymous or AL-Anon. You need to get your head straight about who you want to be and what you want your child to know as he grows. There is so much a child learns BEFORE one year of age such as trust and socialization that it is imperative you learn what your child is learning so that you can guide his development.

You are scared. You are worried for your husband. You are anxious for your child, okay. Breathe.

You husband is going through serious triggers. Feelings of the abuse as he may not be aware that his debilitating actions are from the abuse. These feelings come from terror of the abuse. He is using all his old ways to minimize and ignore the abuse, except now instead of mindless watching tv and running away, he now has access to much more powerful ways to dissociate, or emotionally separate himself from the trauma.

He is terrified of three things, being rejected, being abandon and being destroyed. The abuse created very real thoughts of all of these things on a scale soldiers in combat may not experience. They are very real and impossible for him to process. These will be the center of his pleadings, his fears, his anger and resentment. He will feel the baby will become the center of your world and he will no longer be needed.

Hopeful, there is more here than a loving relationship can help. he needs a therapist or professional that is a male sexual abuse expert, and it may not be the first one of those that he connects with. He needs strong borders that are made up of what you want from your life. He cannot argue with you until he rages. He cannot come home impaired to the extent he cannot function. He absolutely cannot show his son that he is anything but a loving, caring, supportive father.

There are ways to make your relationship work so that he is healing and you have the lifestyle you want for your family. Keep your own decisions. Find a support group. Experience the feelings of fear and anxiety, but have a supporting person you can call for help.

Post about everything here in Friends and Family. The mistake I have seen is that things start getting better so survivors and supporters alike stop posting. Then when the situation inevitably digresses because abuse controls are a negative cycle, the supporter or survivor are back in the same situation as before and can be discouraged. Having a journal of posts and replies can support the supporter with a process that allows them to use the same process to combat a negative cycle. It also creates a friendly supportive environment for the supporter. We get to know your situation and can help to guide you.

Being a supporter is difficult and rewarding, you are regarded highly here by survivors, thank you. This is a good first step. Keep sharing, keep asking until you have a plan and a hope for yourself, your child and your husband.

My best to you,
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

#420514 - 12/31/12 12:18 PM Re: having baby a trigger? need help with husband [Re: Esposa]
remaininghopeful Offline

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
I'm not sure how to tell him what I want without him hearing it as criticism and negativity and judgment toward him, which is his main problem in our communication. It reminds him of his father and all he hears is that he's useless and a failure, not hearing that I am being hurt and he is being self-destructive. His response when I've confronted him about things is that "It's over" and he has no responsibility to me and that I can't be hurt by things he does because we have no relationship. We are separated, I can't be affected by him. We can talk about the baby and that's it.

#420515 - 12/31/12 01:05 PM Re: having baby a trigger? need help with husband [Re: remaininghopeful]
SamV Offline

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5972
Loc: Sunnny, South East USA

You are separated. He is living most of or all of the time apart from you, okay. He cannot hear that he is hurting you, only that he is useless and failing to provide for you.

His father's voice is very strong and negative in his perception. Words like "it's over" and " he has no responsibility" are probably the words he heard form his father over the years as his father was overwhelmed and a poor example. Your husband has not taken the time to open himself up to those very negative thoughts and reason on them. He cannot, let me repeat that, he CANNOT hear your pain and fear as this will INSTANTLY became berating criticism. You are at an impasse.

What can you do?
State what you want as a positive matter of fact. He is the love of your life. Your child can grow to love him. You are good together, your life prior to this proves it. He is a good person who can overcome adversity. Feelings of fear and uncertainty are simply a way of checking in with ourselves that we are taking the very best way for us and our children. You will raise this child. You will support and mature this child to the best of your ability and it will be enough.

Sometimes getting across what you want in a way that makes him listen is to be fearful of the future and ask him as a stranger, would he be kind enough to help? When we demand help we sound like overbearing parents demanding accountability. Absolutely he is the father's child and this is his co-responsibility, but there may be no way to enforce that without his running away. Hopeful, there may be no way currently to make him come home and help you raise this child.

Trust you. This can be a paradigm where not only is his fear keeping him away, but the talks you have may also be projecting YOUR fears. Become introspective. How are you dealing with the possibility of raising this child alone? Can you see yourself alone in 1 month, in 7 months, in 3 years and still successfully parenting your child alone?

Going to a support group and listening to the struggles and eventualities of the attendees can really open you up to an understanding of what these supporters have gone through.

I have a saying. "One cannot force another to do a positive thing, force only begets a negative thing." He is hearing that he must take responsibility no matter how you speak to him. The problem may not be yours to repair or relieve.

Trust yourself until he is ready to be positive in your life.
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

#420519 - 12/31/12 03:29 PM Re: having baby a trigger? need help with husband [Re: remaininghopeful]
remaininghopeful Offline

Registered: 12/31/12
Posts: 23
Thank you, SamV. You're right. Everything he hears from me is berating criticism at the moment. He feels like such a failure and hates that I support the family and that he needs me so much, not just financially but emotionally. It's one of the reasons he's leaving, so that he can gain self-sufficiency and self-esteem and a life that doesn't revolve around me. He's fearful that he lost me or that he will lose me and that he will get hurt by me, so he'd rather chuck our relationship away now.

I think I need to just back off, even though it's so hard that he comes in and out and I don't know when I can rely on him. I need to just rely on myself and concentrate on taking care of the baby. And stop contacting him. I'll let him know what I want and that I love him and am there for him. But that's it.

I'm just afraid of doing the wrong thing. Pushing him or him thinking I'm judging or criticizing is the worst thing for him, though I don't want to feel like I am condoning his bad behavior, either. I think I just need to distance myself from it. He must know he's not okay and not acting okay, but I don't need to tell him that, too, right?

The money situation is frightening and his spending is also out of control. I don't think he would jeopardize his son and I'm hoping he will figure out a way to bring in an income and contribute instead of his leaving being a big financial burden on us, too.

#420605 - 01/01/13 07:03 PM Re: having baby a trigger? need help with husband [Re: remaininghopeful]
aksnowyowl Offline

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
remaining hopeful, i thought about you a lot last night. there are some parallels.

i am the wife of a CSA survivor who is going through EMDR. we homeschool our children, which means i am completely financially dependent on someone who at times is very much unstable. it's a "pit of my stomach terrifying layer of dreadful stress" every time things get difficult because i then begin to wonder: how am i going to pull this off financially?

but so far, i always have. sometimes by the skin of my teeth, but i have.

Originally Posted By: remaininghopeful
I'm just afraid of doing the wrong thing. Pushing him or him thinking I'm judging or criticizing is the worst thing for him, though I don't want to feel like I am condoning his bad behavior, either. I think I just need to distance myself from it. He must know he's not okay and not acting okay, but I don't need to tell him that, too, right?

so i don't want to offend you by assuming that i know what you are thinking/feeling, but i also want to tell you about how i relate to your quote.

i ended up in a similar situation over the last three months. communication and trust between my husband and i faltered terribly. we were in counseling every week just to keep our marriage together. at one point, i asked him to leave.

i was making mistakes, he was making mistakes, but we were...too fearful and insecure to approach each other with open hearts. he is doing EMDR and i had forgotten how much upheaval that creates in relationships. i felt i was constantly being rejected, sexually, emotionally, physically. and he had forgotten that he could trust me.

anyways, it landed me in this cycle where i was so AFRAID OF DOING THE WRONG THING. i knew he was in pain, but i didn't understand why or how it was affecting our relationship. i knew i was very reactionary, so i tried not to have reactions. i knew i needed boundaries but i wasn't sure what they looked like. i knew we had children and i did not want to make the wrong choice by drawing a line in the sand i could not take back.

i was afraid of hurting him more. i was afraid of hurting our children. i was afraid that i didn't have the strength to stay, and i was afraid that i didn't have the strength to go.

i knew that he was processing sexual trauma AND verbal and physical abuse from his father. sometimes it was like i was speaking to his father, i didn't know where my husband had gone, and in his place was this sick, sarcastic, defeated, belittling man who didn't trust anyone. like psychological possession.

this is when i calmly asked him to leave. i told him how much i loved him, that i didn't want the relationship to end, that i was confused and needed space. he didn't actually leave. we went to counseling instead.

and to be honest, that session didn't help much either. what helped was going to my own therapist. i asked her what she thought of the situation and she said, "i believe in the power of EMDR. i say this tentatively, wait and see. he is working on himself, try cutting him a break." and that made sense. i had been so caught up in my own pain that i had forgotten how intense trauma therapy is.

and then i knew where the boundary was "no more sarcasm, no more meanness, no more belittling". clear as day.

and then i offered a white flag: i apologized for not being more compassionate and i thanked him for going to therapy.

my sponsor told me to write down five things i appreciate about him every day, and every day they have to be different. i put them on post its that i leave on the door.

and we're learning to trust each other again.

so i'm not saying stay or go. i recognize that there are big differences between our situations, but beware of the fear of stuffing, of fearing action and inaction, of fearing failure and being wrong and stuck. you have options. posting in this forum is a great option. write out your options...where can you go for insight and wisdom and support?

things between my husband and i improve from time to time and i cut out the supports, thinking that i don't need them now that things are good, but it doesn't work like that. living in this relationship means that i need to store up support credit, like a savings account, because there will come a time in the future when i really need all the wisdom and insight and compassion i can get just to be sane and loving. supports put that in the bank.

feel free to message me if you like. thank you for posting.


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