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#59299 - 12/23/05 07:43 PM understanding what he wants.
crocyx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 3

My boyfriend and I have been friends for years but we've only been together romantically for about 6 months.

his father used to beat him, sometimes til he was unconcious, sometimes he had to go to the hospital. I don't know who it was who SA him, he won't talk to me about it, i understand he needs to take his time. he has nightmares every night, he can't stand any contact with me. He even acts like he's afraid of me.

I understand that physical contact is really difficult for him. We rarely have any kind of physical contact save maybe a kiss or something. If we are intimate, i'm not allowed to touch him other than holding him. That's ok. I would rather he take his time with it than pretend and then dissociate or something. That has happened numerous times. It's like he feels the need to please me in that way. He pushes himself and then ends up 'zoning out' or freaking out and feeling sick. It's upsetting for me cause i feel like i'm the cause of it.

If his abuser was male, then maybe being with me reminds him of stuff and that's why he dissociates when we're together.

i just don't know sometimes. When he has nightmares he shys away from me, almost like he's looking at me like i'm the one who was doing something to him. There have been times where he'll let me hold him. Sometimes i worry that he is just doing whatever he thinks he's "required" to do. I tell him we don't have to do anything. We could just be friends if he wanted that, or that we don't have to make out (we've never had sex or anything close to it) but he says he doesn't want that... But his actions don't line up with that. I wonder if every time we've been together he's just pretending to want to be with me. Maybe he doesn't want to be with me at all...

i have known him long enough to know his ways about things, he's not an outwardly emotional person. I've explained to him that communication is important and that it's ok for him to tell me what he does or doesn't want no matter what situation we're in. I really love him and i hope in time he can love me like that but it's like he doesn't understand love.

He can't stand it if i say i love him when we're in bed together so i don't say it. I've also explained to him that i am only intimate with him because i love him, not cause i just am after his body. Then he got really pissed off, i didn't get it. Wouldn't he want that?

Has anyone else ever felt like their guy actually didn't want you to love him? I guess he's afraid of it, he tries to push me away and then gets scared and wants me to come back.

i don't even know exactly what i'm asking... there was another topic about lying and that was so familiar. i guess i was just wondering if anyone else had any similar experiences or input.

#59300 - 12/23/05 08:15 PM Re: understanding what he wants.
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

Has anyone else ever felt like their guy actually didn't want you to love him?
Boy does that one strike home. The answer is yes. My b/f is terrified of my love. It's foreign to him. Not only does he feel he doesn't deserve it, he has no clue how to deal with it.

It sounds to me like your saying and doing all of the right things, for him. The trick is can you deal with almost constant rejection until he's ready to open up and heal. It's not that he doesn't need or want you, it's that he doesn't know how so he strikes first by pushing you away. That's hard for us SOs to deal with.

He is afraid of you because you accept and see things for what they really are with no ulterior motives behind them. That's a concept that survivors don't understand. What they believe in their head doesn't always translate to their heart, so they're always on guard.

You care so much; he needs that. He needs your strength until he finds his own emotional strength. But beware, sharing what is naturally ours alone with someone who has his behind lock and key can be very draining. Do everything you can to keep your strength up. Be kind to yourself, especially when he's not.

Being the loved one of a survivor is difficult, but I believe it to be worth it or I wouldn't even try.

Coming here is how I gain some of my strength. It helps tremendously to know that you're not alone and there are others going through or who have been through almost exactly what you're dealing with.

Welcome to a wonderful place.

ROCK ON........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#59301 - 12/23/05 10:38 PM Re: understanding what he wants.
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Welcome Crocyx.

Please don't beat yourself up about whether or not you remind him of the abuser. You're NOT the abuser and most survivors, regardless of their partner's gender or their abuser's gender, have to go through a process of learning to trust and be intimate.

And go back and read everything that Trish said again. \:\)

It can be hard for survivors to know what it is they really want-- and very hard for them to ask for it or even try to get it-- they are afraid of being vulnerable, of not getting the things they want most-- so it becomes easier to pretend that they don't want those things at all. As the fear becomes less terrible than a life of not getting what you want, they begin getting honest with themselves and others and taking steps toward sharing their needs.


#59302 - 12/24/05 09:49 PM Re: understanding what he wants.
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
i know if i keep all my locks in place then no one can ever hurt me again ,it don't matter who it is .it is just as hard for him to tear down the walls he has built as it is for you to try to climb over them ,it scare us to hear someone who loves us pounding on those walls by loving us ,we want the love so bad but what we thought was love before turned out to be something else .someday he will thank you for not giving up on him ,sure wish i had someone like the friends and family i see here,but i know i couldn't just open myself up and trust again overnight ,everyone tells me it takes time to let someone in to the fort we built to protect us , talking to the people here is slowly starting to chip away at my walls ,during my abuse my walls were a good thing ,they kept me alive ,but now it is very hard to understand i don't need them anymore.adam

its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

#59303 - 12/24/05 11:12 PM Re: understanding what he wants.
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

It has all been pretty much said above. I can only stress the confusion and fear that a survivor is often going through. Basically, we have learned to live in a fantasy world full of bad ideas about ourselves, denial of our pain and hurt, and various more or less harmful mechanisms (drink, drugs, self harm, sexual adventures, etc.) to protect ourselves and pretend that all is well.

As we emerge from that hell it is very difficult to be sure of anything about yourself, since so much of what you thought you knew in the past now turns out to be false. If you are with someone you genuinely care about this becomes especially difficult. SAR is absolutely dead on when she speaks of not knowing what we want and feelings of vulnerability about asking for those things.

This post could go on forever. I'll just close for now and say you are in a good place to talk about all this and I am so glad you have found us.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#59304 - 12/27/05 01:56 AM Re: understanding what he wants.
Caetel Offline

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
I have tried so many times to understand what my love wanted 'cos it would have helped me to understand how he acted or acted out.
I guess at the time, my confusion was as great as his (I am a survivor too) and he probably tried hard to make sense of my mood swings.
Today, I am more aware of my own dynamics. I have started dated a guy and I went from the feeling of total safety to intense fear and panick. I also realized that I was totally focused on what I thouht he wanted and not what I wanted. So I shifted my position and focused on how I felt and what I wanted.
All I want to say here is that there were in my love story with V so many possibilities to get lost in all that confusion. Sometimes it is useless to try to understand. Only therapy can help clear the mess in a survivor's mind.
But I do believe that a survivor can always sense true love. In my case, the story ended sadly but I never stopped loving him and I hope that this has helped him carry on his healing journey.
Best wishes

Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

#59305 - 12/27/05 05:38 AM Re: understanding what he wants.
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire

It sounds to me like your saying and doing all of the right things, for him. The trick is can you deal with almost constant rejection until he's ready to open up and heal. It's not that he doesn't need or want you, it's that he doesn't know how so he strikes first by pushing you away. That's hard for us SOs to deal with.
I can't add much to what Trish says here, or what Shadowkid says -

i know if i keep all my locks in place then no one can ever hurt me again
I got married at 21, and by the time I was in my late 30's I'd got so many locks in place Houdini would have been still there now.

Triggers and flashbacks rule our lives, a smell, a way someone moves their eyes, a sentence they speak, all these perfectly innocent things and a thousand more make us reach for the locks.

If I initiate sex, then I feel like an abuser - or a slut - or someother distorted thinking that is a direct legacy of my abuse.
If my wife initiates sex, it reminds me of the abuse because someone else wants me for sex.
I KNOW it's wrong, and after much therapy and hard work I am making some progress. But this stuff was ingrained in our minds at a very formitive age, and it was the WRONG stuff, so it's very difficult to overcome.
Impossible ? no it isn't impossible to shift our distorted thinking, and it is very worthwhile.

With support, love and help from you, and I would strongly recommend specialist therapy as well, we can become the men we were meant to be.
But, there's always a 'but' isn't there ? :rolleyes: it has to be led by us, the survivor.
We have to genuinly want to heal ourselves, we have to make the first steps into therapy. If someone else pushes us then that also reminds us of our abuse, and we rebel.

Sounds tough for a partner, and it is. But the successful partners make the effort, and you seem to be doing just that.

Take care

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


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