Originally posted by lindts:
>>>During that time I went to a really good 6 week support group for partners. Just prior to my b-day, I sent him a 9 page letter telling him how much I love him but asking the questions that I needed to ask (why is his displaced anger towards me instead of his parents;
Interesting - this happened to me too.. oh so much anger he had and sometimes still has.
It took a LONG time for my partner to draw the link between the SA and the "abandoned child" that was vulnerable to a pedophile. He had NOT brokered this possibility that his parents might be involved in the whole system.. and indeed the events/situations that lead up to SA are often a "system".. and instead he targetted his anger towards ME. I have had enough of that and only by the grace of GOD things hit bottom and recovered back in February, and also he's involved in a mens support group that acknowledges and puts emphasis on the "abandoning authority" - the parent or caregiver that "set up" the child for being sexually abused.
The group that he goes to had a session for partners and the one thing that our therapist said was that often survivors are more scarred by the abandoning authority - the person who should have protected them but didnt, than by the actual abuse incident itself. It is the "keeping of secrets" and the lack of support that causes chronic anxiety that the world is an unsafe place, that the survivor "does not count" and that they always have to be on guard.. that "nobody protected me so I have to do it myself"... burden is pretty damn heavy!!
>>>Well, he gets the letter, gets furious, and calls me up to say that he isn't going to finish reading it, wants me to stop psycho-analyzing him, wants me to leave him alone, he's angry that I am going to the support meetings, that the SA has absolutely nothing to do with the last 2 1/2 months of silence and he wishes he never confided in me about the SA.
I've heard this before.. are you sure you're not me??
>>>I stayed totally calm on the phone, apologized for the perception of psycho-analysis in the letter, but held my ground about the waste of precious time during the silent treatment, and told him I wasn't apologizing for truthfully telling him I didn't want to move.
Good for you. Sounds like you're taking the tough love approach.. hold your ground.. hold on...
>>> But for some reason he can only handle small amounts of time together (slowly it increases).
Intimacy is a trigger for survivors.. the same thing happens to us too..
>>>He's not a momma's boy, but he is intensely close to his parents like a little boy (he's mid thirties)
My fiance is kind of unreasonably protective of his parents.. not that close, but strangely protective considering everything they've put him through.. The whole relationship that my fiance has with his parents is baffling.
>>>Why does he always spend so much time with his parents? They don't know about the SA but shouldn't he displace his anger towards them for not doing anything rather than me. They don't deserve to be blamed, but I'm just trying to understand his line of thinking.
Could be protection, denial, whatever. My fiance has this unbelievably insatiable desire to please his parents, especially his mother, when she is an inherently unpleasable person. As I said the relatkonship that my fiance has with his parents is hard to understand at the best of times. SA survivors are also sometimes emtionaly stuck at the age of the abuse - maybe this has something to do with their current relationship oddities?
Anyhow this is one thing that I have not yet figured out, and I"m not going to spend too much time on it unless i find it affecting our relationship (i.e. if he continues to go see them and it causes a lot of trigger-anger and it spills over onto me). How my fiance relates to his parents is his business, and I dont really have much right to comment. On occasion I do, and usually I get my head bit off...
>>>2) My bf doesn't seem to want to socialize with others? How do partners explain this to others during "couples events"?
My fiance has some issues with social anxiety disorder - not out of the realm of possibilities that this has something to do with the trauma of abuse... he has particular issues with socializing with men (his initial abuse was as an adolescent during/after a party, where drinking and socializing was going on...).
>>>3) Does my bf really think the last 2 1/2 month silent treatment was about the pseudo-engagement, or does he realize deep down inside that it's about the SA but just doesn't want to admit it to me.
Hard to know. But you can point out to him that you dont think that the 2.5 months silent treatment was appropriate in light of what you did - which was just expressing your needs about how you want to live your life.
Unfortunately survivors have had their own boundaries violated so badly it affects how they relate to others - they sometimes dont understand when they themselves are stepping over the line into borderline strong-arm-manipulative tactics. This is NOT a recrimination of survivors, but just that appropriate behaviour/boundaries has not been taught well to survivors, and has been really messed up on account of the trauma/abuse. Its more of a lack of awareness/ knowledge/ training than anything. It is HARD work to keep reasserting boundaries, but well worth it.
One thing that my fiance and I still struggle with is the "meeting of needs" and he often sees me trying to meet my needs (similar to your desire not to move halfway across the country) as extremely threatening.. its very bizarre and we often get into spats about this. I find that I"m just standing up for what I feel is normal and reasonable and he gets extremely offended by it.
There is definitely an undercurrent of "command and control" that is always simmering below the surface.. it can be exhausting and tiring.
>>>When I think about what he said, I get extremely hurt thinking that he was intentionally trying to hurt me by not talking to me, but in my heart I really believe he was going through a bad period with the SA because he's too nice of a person otherwise.
I hope you told him this??? YOu have nothing to lose right now I'd think...
>>>4) I'm walking on eggshells because things once again bottomed out and are slowly creeping upwards. It's good to see him smile. Should I hold off on serious "talk about our future"? If so, until when? I don't want to get him defensive and inward but we've been together for a few years and my biological clock is ticking (upper thirties).
Ayoye.. you are in the same shoes as me.. however when things got really bad for us I had to put it on the line.. biological clock or not... (during our recent breakup I even saw the faces of my yet unborn children disappear from my mind... so trust me I know what you are talking about). I had to say to him that I will NOT put up with certain things in our relationship - the verbal abuse, the silent treatment, the "come here-go-away" shit.. the "command and control" behaviour, and most importantly, the threats. That the threats of leaving me were NOT an option any more....
You DO have the right to set limits about your relationship - if you dont see any movement towards anything more permanent within a few months (six months or so) you may want to make some decisions.. they will be very hard but in relationships timing is everything....
Hell if its any consolation I broke up with my fiance on a Thursday night and by Friday morning he called his shrink and by Saturday we had bought a house. Same thing happened to my aunt - she was engaged for 4 years and got fed up, broke up with her fiance and 4 days later also bought a house.
I think relationships all hit these crisis-choke-points from time to time.