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#64299 - 08/29/06 07:31 AM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

Like he expects me to see that he's unhappy even when he's lying to me about how wonderful things are. It's profoundly confusing to me.
This is familiar to me... it's the test that you can never pass. If you question that everything is fine then you worry too much, don't trust, etc... but if you accept what you hear then you are just like everyone else who doesn't really care about whether or not HE is happy as long as he does what they need him to do.

This is a way of "proving" the survivor's negative self-talk to himself. So whatever that negative message is-- "Everyone will abandon me," or "I'm only good for what other people want," or "I fail at everything"-- it's like any message other than that one doesn't get through, or is met with hostility, and the only one that he will accept or pick up on is the one that makes sense according to the message he's already hearing.

Brokenhearted, it sounds like your husband has at least gotten the message that you care about him and want him to be happy, and that you're not willing to leave things the way they are indefinitely. Even if he's not ready to confront the CSA at this point, that message is important.

Let your actions speak for you now. Practice being an active listener and help him feel safe talking to you about all things-- even if you don't agree or feel threatened by some of his changing views, you can accept how he feels and respectfully agree to disagree. I wonder if he's not starting some "controversial" or emotionally charged discussions about non-SA topics to see how you will react to hearing unpleasant or shocking stuff from him.

#64300 - 08/29/06 08:54 AM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
Cupcake Offline

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 39
reading these posts reinforces how wrong i was this weekend in a situation with my friend. i feel bad. he feels bad. both of us feeling bad doesn't get us very far. short version is this--he flaked out on me for plans we had last thursday. he normally would call and apologize to cancel. not this time. and this has happened before where plans change or he is MIA when we are supposed to meet up, and then I get annoyed and feel disrespected; he apologizes and i forgive him. but when it happened this time, i was so annoyed and sent him a message saying "you are unbelievable." he never called or responded to say what or why he didn't show up or respond. and days later he's still ignoring my efforts to talk to him. this is not typical. so i dont know if he was mad or afraid of dealing with my "unbelievable" message or if he retreated for other reasons.

last night, i sent him an email that was really honest about how i feel, and how upsetting it is when he ignores me. it makes me feel disposable and i dont like that. i told him that i struggled between worrying about him and why he is not answering me, and whether his actions really mean he wants me out of his life. i know its not the latter, but with the way things were going, no one can eliminate that as a possibility.

what i see happening now is that the focus has moved away from my being mad at him for not showing up or calling to my reaction and whether it was appropriate or not under the circumstances. Sort of manipulating to me. His silence forces me to rationalize this and because i am afraid to put too much blame on him, i keep finding blame within myself for how it was handled. completely insane i know!!! I was justified in being upset at this happening for the umpteenth time. and if he is upset over something else, my reaction to him was selfish and probably made him feel worse, and worthless thinking that I would abandon him because of what he did or didn't do.

so now, i have a friend in hiding...hiding from something and now me, because apparently he doesnt want to deal with what i have to say or tell me what is causing him to hide. i sent him a final message stating that he should tell me when he is ready to talk, i promised i was waiting. i had to say that because my first email to him was harsh and probably made him think i was done. what a damn catch 22.

so the bottom line after all of this rambling is that i feel that even though i was justified in being mad, i hate how i reacted....i didnt initially realize something was wrong, and once i did, i tried to let him know that. the thing is, he is just not talking. help!

#64301 - 08/29/06 10:13 AM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
Brokenhearted Offline

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Cupcake, I don't think we can possibly know what goes on in their heads. We're doing our best - we're human too and it's impossible to know how to react. I am in the same boat you are as far as trying to read them, know how to react and what to say. Sorry, I don't think I'm helping.


It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

#64302 - 08/29/06 01:49 PM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
beccy Offline

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
I think bf's confusing/hostile behaviours are why I stopped being myself gradually over the years......

It was like i was trying to get it right all the time, and never really getting anywhere..

Things have been improving gradually for us since both of us have been in therapy, but there's a long way to go...

He has started to share some of his feelings with me, but I'm on edge a lot of the time, wondering what is 'real', you know? When should i relax and enjoy a happy feeling? What if he's not telling the truth about the way things are for him, or there's some other big lie?

It's hard to think about all those years, where he wasn't being himself/wasn't seeing me for who I am.


#64303 - 08/30/06 06:33 AM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
Cupcake Offline

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 39
Thanks, ladies, for the replies. I'm still in the dark and waiting for him to acknowledge me. I called a mutual friend of ours yesterday to ask him if he's at least talked to him. He said he had and he's been in a mood but sometime it happens. I agree but there is no connection between what I know is stressing him out and me. So he was really surprised though that he was ignoring me. I thanked him and told him not to mention my call because I knew eventually we'd work through this. It's just hell in the meantime.
You all no doubt can relate to it and I am grateful to have you guys to listen. I realize that each of us handles stress differently, and that it's important to respect other people's feelings to let them work through things. The thing is, we can't avoid feeling the impact of their stress because we care so much. My way of thinking is, your pain is mine, and vice versa. Your happiness makes me happy too. Maybe that's old fashioned or idealistic, but it really is how I function.
And in my offline life, his being a survivor is an absolute unknown issue to everyone but me and him. Dealing in silence as the friend of a survivor is brutal, and so I can only imagine how hard it is for a survivor. Sharing the pain is an understatement.

#64304 - 08/30/06 06:40 AM Re: WHEW-think it went ok overall
Cupcake Offline

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 39
Brokenhearted---I forgot to mention one more thing to you specifically. I was really impressed by your initial post above and how you approached your husband. I know that had to have taken a lot of courage to do and maybe one day I will borrow your approach and your statement to him. I remember years ago after my friend first disclosed to me, I spent days reading and educating myself, privately. When months later I finally told him I had done that, he was so shocked. He was so surprised that anyone had taken any time to do that. To this day, he still has no idea that I visit this website. Trust me, I have debated telling him too. While I believe it may help him, I don't see him interested in trying to spend the energy on this because he is so focused on his business. I see the toll though that his insomnia and depression is taking on him, and I so desperately want to direct him here. One of these days....I just keep thinking I have to time it right because timing is everything.

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