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#449312 - 10/06/13 03:53 AM Wedding Anniversary
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Tomorrow is my 34th wedding anniversary. Another year gone by and, so much pain and progress has been made that its hard to describe. We've come back from the brink of divorce. My wife has gone from hating me, to tolerating me, to actually caring about me. I have had to painfully face the depth of how I have hurt and mistreated her, and try to make amends. I have come to remember what I saw in her at 19. I don't mean sex, I mean her charachter and grace. I have fallen in love with her in a way I wasn't even capable of before. There's still work to be done. There's still a distance, a difficulty trusting me not to hurt her again. I still have some resentment of her lack of compassion for me in the recovery work I do. But we're sleeping in the same bed again (no sex), and having a weekly date. Slowly, surely making progress on our relationship. I don't even care about the sex anymore, I just want to love and be loved. That is all new for me. I am learning how to love someone. And being loved? Me? What a concept!

What follows is the post I made at this time last year. There's not much I would change, except the last sentance. Instead of "I have only regrets now." I would substitute "I have reason for hope now" Thats been worth all the pain and trouble. Truly a miracle.

Originally Posted By: Jude
Tommorrow is my 33rd wedding anniversary and I am reflecting on the mess I've made of my life and the damage I've done to a poor girl from the country who's only fault was falling in love with me. We were 19 when we met. I had isolated myself completely since I was abused at 13. I wasn't looking for a relationship. Sex was the only selfish use I had for girls, and not that many had made themselves available. But I was not half bad looking and I could be charming if I thought it would get me somewhere. I got what I wanted and we began seeing eachother regularly. I kept all my secrets from her: drinking, drug use, compulsive sex, my Bi-polar and OCD symptoms, and of course my CSA. I would not let her get too close to me, hated intimacy unless it led to sex, and strung her along for three years. When we were 21, she insisted something wasn't right with me and that I go see a therapist or she would shut me off. I agreed and went. The therapist was a joke, I didn't tell him a thing, and I never went back. We seperated, got back together, moved in together and eventually she convinced me that marraige would be good for me. Maybe she thought it would fix me. It didn't. We got married at 22, in a pasture with mountains in the backround. It was a beautiful scene. I got drunk and pretty much blew the day off, but it was my wedding so noone criticized me.

Then I started the cycle of not showing up when I was supposed to. Not calling. Working late. Always an excuse. Always the secrets. We fought. She stuck with me. She thought having a baby would be a good idea. I went along. Again maybe she thought that would fix me. It didn't. 10 children later I was still the same asshole.

But I had a good career, made good money, a nice house and cars, and the family to go with it. From the outside everything looked great. Inside I was a gold plated phony, desperate to keep my secrets at all costs. My wife kept trying to get closer to me, to make our marriage work. Tried to get me to get help. I told her it was HER who had the problem and I was fine. If she would just leave me the hell alone everything would be okay. I was rude, uncaring, sometimes cruel. Demanded sex and didn't care how she felt about it. Was unfaithful too many times to count. She stuck with me.

Eventually the drinking got to be too much to hide. I was exposed. I stopped drinking, went to AA and got sober. But that didn't fix me. I still had all my other secrets. But without the alcohol to prop me up, everything fell apart. My Bi-polar and OCD symptoms went wild. I couldn't hide them anymore. Another secret exposed. I spent time in a Psych ward. Got on Psych meds, and started therapy. That didn't fix me. I still held onto my remaining secrets like they were gold.

After 15 years of sobriety, forcing myself to be faithful to my marriage, and ten years of pointless therapy, I was still the same selfish, angry prick. But along the way I had lost the job, the house, the cars, and was about to lose the wife and family. At this point there was no love between us, no sex, seperate beds, and she just barely could tolerate me.

One night last summer, while at work, I experiences a panic attack where all the memories of being sexually abused came flooding back. It was all I could do to get through the night. It took a few weeks but I worked up the courage to tell all this to my therapist. So many things made sense suddenly, and all the anger, fear and self-hatred were exposed. I even confessed my infidelities to him, but tried to make it seem like they were with women. It took a few more weeks before I could tell him they were all men. I was filled with so much shame about eveything. I kept all this hidden from my wife, and since we didn't talk much anyway, nothing seemed wrong.

Finally I told her everything except about the other men. My therapist told me it would be best to let that be. It didn't go well. She thought this was just another one of my excuses for not caring about her. I was ready to leave. Why she had put up with me for all those years was beyond me, but I was going to make the break and let her start over without me.

But somthing happened. She saw me in one of my panic attacks/flashbacks, crying and screaming in pain, and she believed me and she softened. We talked about it honestly. I confessed all my wrongs against her. I started to make amends to her as best as I was able. She became willing to work on our marraige with me. I promised no more lies, no more secrets. I am trying to become a real man now. I'm trying to learn how to love a woman for the first time. I don't want to be stuck emotionally at age 13, or selfish, or angry. Most days I don't hate myself anymore. It still may not work out. So many years of pain I inflicted on her. I can't take it back or make that up to her. All I can do is try to do the next right thing every day, and trust God to do the rest.

You younger men on MS, do the work now to recover. Become a whole healthy man now. Don't keep your secrets for years like I did. I promise you if you deal with your issues now, you will have an opportunity for a lifetime of love and happiness ahead of you. I have only regrets now.

#449318 - 10/06/13 06:43 AM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
tbkkfile Offline

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 391
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Jude - I am so happy for you and it gives me such hope. My journey has just begun (I waited too long to start at 55 so many regrets and so much water under the bridge) and yesterday my wife and I spent the whole day talking and I finally filled in the gaps for her, she knew some but not all about what had happened. I posted recently about telling my children and we have both decided that it is best they know.

This place is wonderful as are the people like you Jude without whom I wouldn't have known even where to start on this journey.

A big thank you and I wish you both every success in the future

Edited by tbkkfile (10/06/13 06:51 AM)

#449323 - 10/06/13 09:01 AM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
justplainme Offline

Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 472
Reading posts as yours reminds me that LOVE never makes sense..Its got no time for that...It makes MIRACLES.
really happy for you, best wishes to you and your lady.

"Survivors need an opportunity to define their own sexuality in their own terms, rather than in reaction to the abuse, so that they stop allowing their offenders to have power over them sexually."

#449325 - 10/06/13 12:10 PM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA

What a tale straight out of a fairy tale where good triumphs over evil, the power of love changes lives. It really is inspiring for me to read. It is even more so because it is your true life.

The behavior you shared is much of mine. I feel a bond there. I have 18 years clean and sober. I have a wonderful loving wife. You sound like a blessed man. Rising through great difficulty to claim a full life.

I enjoy your comments. Just straight up ugly truths mixed in with how we push through it and recover. Real honest to goodness hope.
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

#449327 - 10/06/13 12:44 PM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Having had my heart run-over by 22 garbage trucks, all driving from my marriage, I have got to say this is a wonderful post.

You are truly fortunate. You are strong and you are blessed!

#449335 - 10/06/13 03:13 PM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
Rich1967 Offline

Registered: 07/18/13
Posts: 612
Loc: PA

I don't know what to say except that I am very happy for you. It warms my heart to hear you say:

[Instead of "I have only regrets now." I would substitute "I have reason for hope now" Thats been worth all the pain and trouble. Truly a miracle.]

It took so much work to get there I'm sure and you deserve to have those feelings of hope.

Soak them in buddy and feel good.
"Me too"-I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.
My Story

#449350 - 10/06/13 08:11 PM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
Adam A Gedman Offline

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada

To quote my own post, "What does progress looks like?", and the answer is, this is exactly what progress looks like!
Congrats on the anniversary, and for making this far, still together and getting better.
I totally get the falling in love part. I feel I too have fallen in love in the same way for my beautiful wife.

Thanks for sharing this, a hopeful interlude from frightening introspection.

Consider adding this post to the progress forum, you do have progress to celebrate.
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

#449359 - 10/06/13 10:40 PM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4223
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Jude -

At risk of using an obvious cliche - sounds like you succeeded in taking a sad song and making it better!

Well done, man!
I know from experience that it takes incredible effort, commitment, patience, forgiveness, and faith on both partners ' parts to make it through this kind of trauma.
And best wishes to both of you for many more increasingly better years together.
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#449360 - 10/06/13 10:43 PM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: traveler]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
Originally Posted By: traveler
Jude -

At risk of using an obvious cliche - sounds like you succeeded in taking a sad song and making it better.

Best witty quip of the year...
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

#449375 - 10/07/13 03:28 AM Re: Wedding Anniversary [Re: Jude]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest

Congratulations to you. It sounds like you are finding the secret of a good marriage - waking up in the morning and asking yourself what you can do to make your wife's life better.

This is an inspiring story. You have demonstrated to us all that healing is possible and that we can overcome the devastating effects of CSA. Since we're quoting cliches tonight, here's mine - Hope does indeed spring eternal.

May you return in another year to find yourself even happier than you are now


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