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#56726 - 12/16/03 05:39 AM Much needed advise!!!!!
steel Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 4
Loc: In Gods hands
Where to begin, well I am a partner to a survivor. I am so cunfused I could cry. I am recently married to my curagous and loving wife now for two months and we are starting down the road of sorting out her abuse along with my problems of no communicational skills from a very bad previous mairage and growing up in a disfunctional family. Problem #1 - (more to follow) -lol- INTAMICY!!!!!!!! I love her so much and I am not aloud to be able to express myself in ways that I long too -ie- Kisses, Touch, Long hugs and Making love - this also being the same in recieving these things from her as well. I GO COLD as not to hurt her or make those feelings come back and then she says to me that I am only ok when we are close in those ways and when I go cold that only proves that our relationship is only good to me when we are Intimate. Not True!! HELP ME PLEASE - I LOVE THIS WOMEN!!!! I do not know what to do. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. I could use some advise.

The Tear

My love, my heart and my soul
Is a teardrop in my eye.
My love consumes my heart,
My heart consumes my soul,
All together you have - my very existence
I cry for us!!!

#56727 - 12/16/03 02:58 PM Re: Much needed advise!!!!!
Wifey1 Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Hi Steel,
Welcome .. I hope a few others post a reply also to you.
I am a survivor of SA as well as my hubby. It has been a long road over the past 17 yrs for us. BUT one Very Worth taking. You're right in the "damned if you do & damned if you dont" position.
I'd like to suggest counseling for you if you arent already doing so. If she has just disclosed her SA to you she may be very much feeling pretty raw, & not sure what she feels right now. She may be feeling very vulnerable or thinking to herself that it was no big deal, or that she made it up to get attention, or an excuse or any number unlimited that the SA was / is not real.
As in any new marriage or relationship your sexual intimacy will have some ebbs & tides. Talking with her.. and tho that may be a new learning area for you.. her HEARING what you or she are saying may be new for both of you. HOWEVER, just my p.o.v. is that you both have a "clean slate" to work from. You can learn Healthy ways to communicate together.. including Listening to each other. I know one of the greatest moments in hubby & I's healing process is when we each have said to each other... very plainly "I believe you when you tell me that you were abused by X X X". Perhaps you could start by telling her that you believe her? The other part of that is that even tho I knew hubby is a survivor also for yrs in our marriage he never spoke of it except in passing occassionaly -- when he flooded with memories I told him "I believe you" it helped but the tears really rained down the day his auntie told him "I'm so sorry you had to go thru this". Just validating that you hear her by making these types of statements could bring you closer together.
I love her so much and I am not aloud to be able to express myself in ways that I long too -ie- Kisses, Touch, Long hugs and Making love - this also being the same in recieving these things from her as well.
Why are you not allowed to touch her or kiss her? Has she actually said "dont do that"? If so perhaps in the daylight when the two of you can sit calmly together with out influx of other stimulus you could ask her "HOW or WHAT" is considered a "Safe Touch" for her. She may not know exactly yet or be able to communicate it.. touch is linked to the abuse & she may not be able to say much more than dont touch my knee... ask her if you can ask why ONLY if you can hear details of the abuse (check yourself in this its horrible to hear details & she may not be able to share them either). Ask her WHAT she is comfortable in doing as far as touching you. Tell her you need to have the physical touches & kisses to know that you are loved by her & she doesnt see you as her abuser. (it is easy to feel as if we are the abuser when we see our loved ones so injured) Be Prepared the "guidelines" for "Safe Touch" may change frequently & without notice. Try not to take this too personal as she is still working out what exactly does or does not feel safe. Using the phrases "may I", or "Can I" can go a long way to create a safe feeling for her remember her abuser/s didnt ASK her if he could or even if s/he did he used it against her to injure her.
I GO COLD as not to hurt her or make those feelings come back and then she says to me that I am only ok when we are close in those ways and when I go cold that only proves that our relationship is only good to me when we are Intimate. Not True!!
Is it possible you could try to remind yourself that you ARE NOT her abuser? How is it that you are going to hurt her? By WANTING the norm of expression of love between two consenting adults? This is going to be a real touch & go area for awhile & constitutes A LOT of blunt questions from you... as in "May I Kiss you?" You're probably going to do some mental gymnastics for yourself that will turn off your libido some & that is pretty normal to experience that. If you feel as if you should HAVE to ask to touch or be touched it can flood your thots with the unfairness/anger etc that comes with living with the fall out from having been abused. She also may do a "push & pull" with you regarding sexual contact. It could be a mental thinking of "I should do this for my spouse I Love him he's safe, but wait it still feels "gross in my stomach" ... and around and around the thoughts can go from there also squelching her libido?
One thing I can say that has helped over our years is saying the very words aloud "I LOVE YOU" freely & openly & often and especially without the expectation of sexual contact attached or expected from it. Tell her directly that you think she is smart, funny, strong, etc... those little oorahs make a huge difference for trust.. perhaps write them down on a paper she can keep with her when she is feeling blue?
I encourage you to seek counseling.. both together and individually having someone who isnt IN your relationship to ask questions of, vent frustrations with and to defrag your seperate emotions can be crucial if not critical to learning to HEAL together.
She may have had to survive alone, but NO ONE should EVER have to HEAL alone. Your both already strong and love goes a helluva long way in a relationship... but so does patience, willingness to ask the hard questions no matter how ashamed or embarrassin they may be or even if they put the kibosh on some sexual contact for awhile.. but it is very very worth the struggles in the long run.
Peace and if you feel you want to PM me you may.

#56728 - 12/16/03 06:57 PM Re: Much needed advise!!!!!
zadok1 Offline

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio

I responded to your wife. My wife and I have been through all of this, and were where you are now. I know it is hard on both of you. Being a spouse of a survivor is as challenging as being the victim in many ways. You are left with living with the fruits of someone elseís sin. I know it is not easy.

One thing I think you both need is to seek counseling as a couple. Developing good communications skills is very important, and one of the first things they teach you is that you have a right to your own feelings, and she has a right to hers. If you hate her father, that is your right and your feelings. She doesnít have to agree with them, but she does have to allow you to feel what you need to.

By the same token, she has every right to her own feelings. You must respect her feelings, even if you donít agree with them. I have learned there is a lot of healing that comes from feeling heard and understood. Sometimes, just voicing how you feel vents the problem and helps, even if nothing changes. It is made better because you have made your position known, and feel heard.

I wish I could magically solve the intimacy issues. Those are the hardest things to overcome, because they are very powerful for her. When you touch her, it is like being abused all over again, like her privacy is being invaded. A touch makes her want to escape and run away. Being intimate and sexual is very hard for her. That doesnít make it right, it just is what it is. She must work hard to overcome those, and you must be ultimately patient. You cannot make this happen. If you force it in the least, you will set her back more than youíll ever know. She must come to you.

My friend, I know how lonely you are, and how you need affection. You are suffering, but try not to rush or push her. People have done that to her all her life. Donít add to it. Keep talking in terms of your feelings and needs, and ask her to do the same. Take time and grow together.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

#56729 - 12/16/03 11:00 PM Re: Much needed advise!!!!!
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
I cannot echo enough the need for therapy to deal with this. In addition to therapy, there is an excellent book called "the courage to heal" workbook which actually contains some strategies on how to work that SA survivors can do to desensitizing yourself to physical touch/and/or to develop some kind of framework/boundary for appropriate and non-scary physical intimacy activities.

Obviously this type of activity cannot happen without the necessary healing/therapy/hard work first.. so I dont recommend this book on its own.. should reawlly be combined with therapy of some kind.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of therapy in this whole recovery process. My partner has been involved with anger management therapy, a group therapy session for male SA surivors, as well as an intensive weekend "active therapy" (art therapy, psychodrama experiences) session and the change is starting!!!

Therapy is VERY scary but I am sure any guy on here will tell you that it is WELL worth it. Its tough for guys to actually get to admit they need therapy because society has really trained men to think that they are "independent" and can handle things on their own.. in addition the SA also is a further motivation to not open up to Anyone.. definiltely a double edged sword.

However, if you do decide to contemplate therapy keep in mind that it is worth spending a lot of time also to find someone you like, that you trust is critical. You dont have to stick with the first person you find, and just beacuse someone has the right letters after their name does not mean they are good or the right fit for you, that you can go at your own pace, that it has to fit with where you are and what you are ready for.



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