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#424022 - 02/01/13 11:36 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
How about trying this... just a thought.

Don't take her fear personally.

She sounds afraid. Really afraid. And she is projecting a lot of that on you. How about when you listen to her words you imagine that she is saying them to herself? Because she is... you're listening to her inner child. Don't accept these words as words for you. They are NOT for you. You ARE NOT WRONG.

#424026 - 02/02/13 12:38 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
My T strongly suspects based on her behavior that my wife is a CSA survivor and is struggling to "keep it asleep" around me now.

I know for a fact she was physically abused... routinely beaten by both parents.

Please, no.
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#424031 - 02/02/13 01:14 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1343
Oh Matt, I hope not.

I've got this life
And the will to show
I will always be
Better than before

#424038 - 02/02/13 03:54 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
gottymeguy Offline

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 35
I'm so sorry Matt, and I hope that it is not true. Regardless of that possibility (and excuse me if you already mentioned it, and I missed it) but just pertaining to the way your wife behaves and upsets you, has she ever went to therapy with you? maybe it would help her understand you if your therapist has some one on one sessions with her (in a not threatening way, asking questions and such)...

My brain is a bit scattered, sorry if my reply seems a bit disjointed and rambling.

#424039 - 02/02/13 04:08 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
GoodHope Offline

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 428
Like she has convinced herself that she "got over it" and she can't consider for one second that she hasn't. My heart breaks for you. I also don't believe it is uncommon for survivors to be drawn to each other for reasons that are then unexplained.
Wife of a survivor

#424070 - 02/02/13 03:40 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
My T strongly suspects based on her behavior that my wife is a CSA survivor and is struggling to "keep it asleep" around me now.

I know for a fact she was physically abused... routinely beaten by both parents.

Please, no.

While it's possible that she has some personal CSA issues I wouldn't jump there without some more probing. The physical abuse is significant. Earlier last year when I was reading a number of books on CSA the reactions and behavious described matched my sister exactly. But her abuse was not sexual but physical and emotional. Also bad.

#424079 - 02/02/13 09:41 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
H's first T fixated on me a lot. I never met her but they seemed to talk more about me than they did his abuse which I still think was her lack of knowledge about male abuse. It wasn't supposed to be couples therapy - it was SUPPOSED to be his abuse therapy.

I don't know if she has been to therapy with you SoccerStar but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion either.

Edited by sugarbaby (02/02/13 09:41 PM)

#424368 - 02/05/13 02:27 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929
In retrospect, I panicked. In the light of day I really don't think she was SA'd either and she's even tossed that into conversation.

Anyway.... worse to worser. Forgive me for treating this place like a diary but it happened again last night and really hurt....

Her: "I just don't get why you seem so unhappy all the time. Why can't you focus on happier things, on all you've got going for you to get past it?"
Me: "I do, this is what it looks like. Without that I wouldn't get out of bed some days."
Her: "It just seems like you're wallowing in this... there isn't a way to put it past you?"
Me: "Yes, this is what it looks like. I was raped. [First time I'd been able to say that to her clearly, without already being crying]. Violently, with horrible pain and fear. I'm working things out with my therapist, my psychiatrist, I'm making progress, I'm comparing notes with other guys who've dealt--"
Her: "Yeah, that damn website you're always on? You're obsessed."
Me: "See, I think YOU'RE obsessed. You've known me for years, you've seen my computer habits, you know I'm not on there nearly as much as I used to be on the collector websites or political blogs."
Her: "I really think you're being influenced by the pain those people feel. And I've got to say... your story has evolved too..."
Me: "...what is that supposed to mean?"
Her: "I don't know, maybe you've remembered more or maybe you're kind of repeating what all those guys are saying."
Me: "No offense but between the two of us, it isn't me who is the one who gets mentally swayed by websites and self-diagnoses every disease I read about, from multiple sclerosis to lupus to AIDS [yes]. This is how the process works, and yes, I have remembered more, between the first big blow-up and then therapy. My therapist says that's exactly how this happens."
Her: "Or maybe that's just what the therapist industry wants you to believe."
Me: "I don't even know how to respond to that."
Her: "Look, the reason I hate that website so much is that you think you have the right to keep secrets from me. In a marriage there shouldn't be any secrets."
Me: "It isn't a secret if it's part of the therapy that's supposed to get you better. Besides, what I talk about there is me at my worst, me in a light that even I can't stand to look at. I'm not super eager to open that door and show that side off to you."
Her: "Why not? I don't judge you. I don't see you as any less of a man."
Me: "Hmm. Well. You want to see how deep this goes? Ok, I'll show you what I'm fighting with now."
[I pull up "Inner child, inner monster" and let her read it.]
Her: "You used your real name????"
Me: "How many Matts are there on Earth? Keep going."
Her: "I guess I just don't see why this is all so immediate for you. It happened so long ago-"
Me: "No it didn't. It happened in October. Your life is impacted by what you feel and experience and I felt and experienced it in October."
Her: "I don't understand that at all. You said knew since you were a kid you'd been abused."
Me: "Do you get that people can only remember part of something and then get the rest back later? Do you get the difference between seeing a picture and feeling something?"
Her: "No."
Me: "The brain remembers traumatic violence differently. There are hormones and neurotransmitters that make those memories much worse than others, more permanent and inescapable. They get stored differently, get hidden away, come back worse and sharper. Have you heard of what female rape survivors go through? Have you heard of soldiers who come back traumatized and different?"
[Humorous aside: we watch Homeland and love it, but she utterly hates Brody, sees him as a pure evil villain as bad as Abu Nazir. I ask her if she can sympathize with horrible experiences leading people into mental damage and alteration and she says no she can't. The entire sexual / romantic subplot between Brody and the CIA agent is a mystery to her, because he's just so purely evil now that he's done something bad.]
Her: " I'm not saying 'just get over it', I get the seriousness of it, but everybody goes through some trauma and has to move on in life. I was heartbroken when my dad died-"
Me: "Now time-warp me back to 3 months after your dad died. Would I be speaking to you about it at that point in time like you're speaking to me now?"
Her: "But you've known for way longer than that!"
Me: "Suppose you look at a photo of a lion. Then suppose a real lion jumped on you and tried to eat you, and you could smell it's breath and hear it growl, feel the weight, and as it tried to bite out your throat you put up your arms as defense and it ate all the skin off your arms. Do you get the difference between the two concepts of 'lion' involved? What shape would you be in a few months after that?"
Her: "I guess I just dont understand. I'm not a professional. I just knew that a lot of other people have been through this and gotten over it."
Me: "No one has ever gotten over it. And 'a lot of people' have beaten and cheated on their partners, turned to drugs or prostitutes. I am not 'a lot of people'."
Her: "I'm so tired of this being our everyday issue, okay? I'm tired of you being obsessed with it and tired of how every time we talk it always involves how I'm not supposed to say certain things."
Me: "Well, I love you babe but too bad. That is how it works. When someone goes through this there really are ways to talk about it that are antagonistic and ways that aren't. We had a hypothetical duscussion once of how if a wife had a severe illness or injury and could never have sex again, the husband could never have sex again either, not even if he still lived with her and took care of her. You were horrified when I disagreed with you, when I said after like a year, the caretaker husband could get sex elsewhere. Well now we have a real situation where a husband is dealing with emotional trauma and needs to recover as best he can and the wife doesn't get to criticize or complain about those recovery methods. And if the whole point is to help someone calm down... you know, I told you there are books that go all over this including from the wives' perspective, and there are websites for the wives of survivors, and you said you weren't interested. Is that still the case?"
Her: "Yes. I don't want to get even more of this. And I'm tired of you saying 'this is how it works' too just because your therapist and some website people, who for all you know could be child molesters jerking off, said so. I'm dealing with stuff of my own. The baby, my job, our house still isn't fixed..."
Me: "I kinda have to say I'm really surprised that I let you read that essay and this is how you responded. You haven't even addressed what I wrote, it was full of heavy shit and how I'm trying to work through it and my feelings, and you kind of haven't said anything about it at all. It was sort of a big deal that I let you read it.
Her: "I appreciate you letting me in, but I didn't understand it."
Me: "What part?"
Her: "Any of it."
Me: "...I don't know what to say..."
Her: "I guess I don't either. But I love you."
And she gave me a hug. And said some nice things... about me, about us. Not about this issue or how I'm trying to cope with it.

What am I to make of this? I hate being That Guy who comes here and whines about how his wife doesn't understand, but it's killing me, it's a knife in my heart. Ive got my flaws - because of CSA and the meds I'm forgetful and often zoned-out. And yeah, Im sad. But I've kept doing everything my wife and kids need and deserve from me, even if sometimes there's a sad look on my face when I do it.

I've thought of inviting her to a T session, but everything I've given in on so far - letting her tell her parents, offering her books, showing her my essay - has been for nothing. I can't keep going further out on the limb, exposing more of my worst and weakest spots in one concession after another, and not having her hold my hand when I do it. I just can't.

Matt (one of probably 130,000,000 in the world!)

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#424382 - 02/05/13 04:41 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Jacob S Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 699
Loc: where the shadows lie
I don't know what to say. A lot of what you wrote is the kind of stuff that my wife and I are going through too. I shared the first part of my story with her and she said "that can't be all of it." And no, its not all of it. But it was some pretty intense stuff about when I was 4 years old and what she meant was that if that is all it was, I am making a big deal out of nothing. And that really hurt. So now I am scared to death that if I share it on this site I will get the same response. So for almost a week I've been pretty absent from here, trying to just bury everything again. I feel like I was moving and her words caused a traffic jam.

Wow, so um maybe I don't have anything supportive to say, unless to tell you I feel like I am in the same fox-hole that you are. Thanks for sharing because it let me know I'm not the only one, though I wish it was none of us.
Nothing there. It subsumed me. Black hole in time and space.

And yet.

It seemed like what I was made for.

to be used.

most natural thing in the world.

#424384 - 02/05/13 04:44 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
northernflicker Offline

Registered: 08/20/12
Posts: 88
I'm so sorry Matt. I wish I had something encouraging to say.

It sounds like your wife feels some shame or embarrassment over what happened to you ("you used your real name"). She needs to understand that none of this is about her. It is about you. I don't know that she is emotionally evolved enough to do that.

I hope that she can show you that she loves you by supporting your choice to deal with your past in a way that is meaningful and works for you. She does not need to understand anything in order to do this. Instead she needs to respect that you know what is best for you and support the fact that you are finally facing issues that are very painful for you. Do you think she is capable of this?

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