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#58391 - 03/18/04 08:43 PM We were so happy in denial...
AB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 11
Loc: N. America
Hi Everyone-
Haven't logged on or posted in a while-been too consumed in what has happened to my relationship. My husband of 1 1/2 years told me about his SA before we were married ( He says that I am the only one that knows besides our therapist)but told me he had counselling and had learned to deal with it.This turned out to only be partially true. In the last 5 months he has pushed me away emotionally and sexually, lied to me consistently (not very well, though, is part of it that he actually wanted to be caught to prove that he is 'bad'?)cheated on me (the most painful part)but has always kept contact with me and goes through stages of 'wanting to change and stop the lies'. 2 weeks ago I moved out after he left and confessed adultery. I don't know what to do anymore. I still love him and would never do a thing to hurt him. We are living in different countries and he is too ashamed to talk to me on the phone. We communicate by e-mail only-which is amazing in itself after the pain I suffered and his level of guilt. I am trying to do things for myself because I realise that I can do no more to help him. He says that he is continuing with the counselling-has anyone gone this far down the road to losing everything and come back? What can I do for myself and him in the meantime?


#58392 - 03/19/04 12:26 AM Re: We were so happy in denial...
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire

lied to me consistently (not very well, though, is part of it that he actually wanted to be caught to prove that he is 'bad'?)
That's a distinct possibility, we were made to feel bad ( low self esteem, self worth etc ) by the abuse and it takes a lot of shifting.
Some of us build our lives on this 'bad' act because it is all we know.
And the wanting to get caught thing is also possible.

I acted out sexually with strange men, and a big part of that was the rikss that I took. Eventually the risk element became more important than the sex and I would do sex acts just about anywhere, the greater the risk the bigger the thrill - or so I though. I now believe that there was a big part of my sub-concious thought telling me "if you get caught, someone will ask - why do you do this?"
and at long last I'd have a REASON to tell someone my secret.

So maybe he's behaving like he does because he hopes someone's going to ask why. OK, he's disclosed his abuse, but maybe he want's a reason to really dig deep. Ah ! it's a dodgy concept, and maybe I don't explain it too well, but a good therapist would jump on something like that until he let it out completely. It smacks of still unresolved issues.

Or, looking on the worst side - and I hope it isn't this - maybe he's using his SA as an excuse ?
Whatever it is, life with a survivor isn't easy.
Keep talking to him and see if he's serious about himself and recovery, but always take care of yourself first.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#58393 - 03/19/04 08:43 PM Re: We were so happy in denial...
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA

he is too ashamed to talk to me on the phone. We communicate by e-mail only-which is amazing in itself after the pain I suffered and his level of guilt.
Does this mean that you would like to talk to him on the phone but he isn't feeling up to it? When you say your email communication is amazing, does that mean that you consider it amazing that you're still willing to talk to him, or amazing that he can pull himself out of his own guilt enough to send you an email?

Another part of the "bad act" is avoiding exactly this type of confrontation: I am too terrible to talk to you, I am not good enough to be around you, the bad things I have done eat at me with so much guilt that it paralyzes me to think about them, and therefore, I am unable to think about them, or talk to you, or give you any answers or make an effort to change.

I think this is a way of "protecting" the act-- so that even if you do get caught and tell, you'll still have your old bad life to fall back on when change gets too hard. Remember, AB, if his whole life is built on this "bad" image, then however much he may want to change things, changing this means abandoning the only identity he has--a scary prospect even if the identity is crap.

As long as you let his guilt and bad feelings dominate your interactions with him, he's not going to get serious about rebuilding a relationship with you as a part of the new act. Every time he reads your email, he's going to think somewhere in the back of his mind, "what a jerk I am, if I weren't such a jerk she'd be telling me this on the phone."

Let him know (again and again if needed) that you still love him, you want to be a part of his recovery, you don't think he's not worth a phone call, and then step back and let him live up to your expectations. When he's ready to, he will. HE'S the one who's gone so far down the road. HE's the one who needs to come back. Not you. If you want him to come back to you, you need to let him do the walking. Otherwise you'll just end up meeting him in the bad place where he is right now.

good luck


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