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#66381 - 05/22/03 10:30 PM Question for the Male Survivors
Faith Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 11
Hello Everyone:
I've posted here a couple of times and have always found the responses very helpful. So here goes again:

My partner (male survivor of SA) tells me he loves me and I know it deep inside. We too have our fair share of peaks and valleys..currently a valley (no affection, no sex, distance..the usual suspects). I'd like to hear from the men out there in relationships with women they love: what is love to you? How does it feel? When you say you love your wives/girlfriends...what do you mean? I read all these posts from male survivors saying "I love my wife, but....I'm not sexually interested.....I can't give affection.....It's hard to be intimate..." etc etc. Then what is love to you? What are you feeling? Is it the love you feel for a platonic friend or a family member? If not, how is it different? I want to understand, but I just don't. I hear my partner tell me he loves me but how can it be in a romantic, unplatonic way when all the important stuff is sometimes missing? I mean, I have platonic love from my pals, I don't need it from my partner. Yup, in a blue mood and I apologize, but I'm just looking to understand. Thanks for any replies.

#66382 - 05/22/03 10:43 PM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
confused_n_alone Offline

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 31
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada
Hello Faith,

I dont know about anybody else i am pretty new here

for me i guess loving my Wife and Daughter means they are the first thing i think about when i wake up and the last hopefully befor i sleep..

i am able to be intimate with my wife most times for me it isn't the act of making love that is the problem "it is the vulnerability when i feel i have let her close"

since my abuser always told me remeber i love you and you are my special boy

for me love is scary and wondering when i am going to get hurt

Confused N Alone


A Jouney starts with one step
A Trip starts With Friends

#66383 - 05/22/03 10:43 PM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada

I love my wife. She is my best friend, my coconspirator, my confidant, 1/2 of me (make that 3/4). I would travel to hell for her. I trust her completely. She is my strength and my hope for the future. She is the mother of our daughter. She is MY LIFE.

Sex is important too. But it just has to come spontaneously. I dont know about others but to decide to do it at 9pm tonite just freezes me out totally. I always knew when I was gonna get raped and abused. And when I was a male prostitute I knew then also. Damned hard to chang that hot-wire in our heads.
Hope this helps



#66384 - 05/22/03 10:57 PM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
confused_n_alone Offline

Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 31
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada
i to like mike have a hard time when it is antisapated would be the best word for it for me since most times i new as well as soon as gramma left the house and he thought he had time it would happen


A Jouney starts with one step
A Trip starts With Friends

#66385 - 05/23/03 01:47 AM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
Cement Offline

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I am tempted to make a half-joking answer...but the real answer behind the joke is


at least not the way I should, or ordinary people do.

My wife is a lovely, gentle, patient, old soul who is funnier than a fart in church.

I am compassionate, helpful, thoughtful, kind, protective and giving. And I can feel if someone else is hurt or in pain or happy better than I can feel those things for myself. And on and on.

But I can barely feel anything for myself, except anger, fear, and frustration.

I told my stepbrother, years ago, maybe decades ago, that I had never missed anyone. You know, "I missed you soooo much!" I had never felt that. He stared at me like I had spoken an alien language. This was an early clue that I didn't feel the way most people do.

Frankly, I am sick of trying to explain what it feels like. It feels awful. It feels like I want someone to hold me, tell me everything is going to be alright, then read my mind for the next five days and give me anything and everything I can think of.

It feels empty and scary and dangerous. It feels like no one wants to understand, or if they do, it is only so they can stop thinking it is their fault.

Love is a many splendored thing...unless someone screwed you out of that splendor at an age before you even knew the true meaning of the word, or stole the word from you once you did.

Love is a trick - before you have
it, you think you will get,
I will get, I will get.

Once you have it, what you get is
the gift of giving to another.

That's an oddly upbeat thought given how selfish I wish I could be right now.

And let the darkness fear our light.

#66386 - 05/23/03 02:11 AM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

I knew the second I saw my wife walk past on her way from a job interview that I would marry her. I literally had to catch my breath after she walked by.

I like to do things for her, like set out her breakfast and make her tea before I leave for work. I really like to hear her voice when she calls me at work. I try to meet her for lunch at least once a week. I love to do things to surprise her, like ordering things I know she wants and won't order for herself, or getting her Mom and brother from 500 miles away to show up on her birthday. Before the family grew this big, she still made porcelain dolls. (She's won competitions with her dolls.) As a wedding present, I made a doll, matching eye and hair color as best I could to hers, and her mom made a doll dress to match my wife's wedding dress. Her Mom is a great accomplice, btw. \:\)

When we first got together, I'd send "no reason" greeting cards in the mail. I gave her a 0th (zero) anniversary card on our wedding day. Now I'm on a flower kick, making sure she has fresh flowers for the vase in the kitchen the last couple months.

But it's difficult to be open. She didn't reject me as I feared she would when last summer I told her about being raped as a kid. And last summer was really rough, because she must have been near the limit of what she could endure. Still, she joined me for couples' counseling. But she's upset with the time I spend reading, coming here, going to 12 step group meetings. The activities specific to SA recovery she calls, "wound licking." That may be an interesting choice, give how we carry on about the wolf pack here, but it doesn't sound very nice to my ears when she says it, and I back right off. "I'll take care of the wounds, thank you very much." One remark like that can send me reeling for a couple days.

Physical intimacy just doesn't happen. When I started getting flashbacks during sex, it freaked her out, and that made it worse for me. I remember one time in particular when I kind of "woke up" to her calling me by name, and her voice seemed to be coming from someplace far away. I know that freaked me out, so I can't blame her. A lot of times I can't even take a shower in peace, so sex is out of the question for now.

I do love her, and I want to spend the rest of my life growing with her, pretty much as I promised back in 1991. I wish I had dealt with my abuse history long ago. I thought it was dead and buried, but it wasn't even really buried all that well. It's out and about now, and it's affecting all our lives (We have three young kids.) in ways I could not have imagined when I started burying it. I was absolutely determined that no one would ever know about my SA history, until I realized how much danger our marriage was in. Then I spilled the beans, 'cause I had nothing left to lose if I lost that.

Gee, I wish I knew when to shut up.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#66387 - 05/23/03 03:30 PM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
Tom S. Offline

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
Jesus said; and this one command do I give, that you love one another as you love yourself. That is a very interesting question. But remember, describing something intangible can be difficult at best. Kind of like describing something that looks purple, or smells sweet.
I think you need to differentiate between love and sex, affection, etc.. All very important components, but not necessarily equal at any given time, for many various reasons. Ask this before you go much further; has your man ever been capable to provide love or just give you the other components? Take time to sit, ponder, and differentiate.
It simply sounds like you are in serious need of affection right now, which is a good thing. This just happens to be one of the difficult times being in relationship is all about, let alone compounded with SA issues.
But, this to shall pass; and affection will be at it's best when it finally does. Realize what your needs are and what he is able to provide you at any given time. Then try to get a toe-hold on his needs and be willing to give, hopefully unconditionally, so you can be in a position to recieve what Jesus also described when he said; and much will be given to those that are able to give with a pure heart. Think about what you can give during times when your personal needs can not be filled. The return might be greater.
It's easy to see how frustrating it is having to do without affection and sex. But what's hard to understand is that you can't have sex 23 hrs a day either! [well...affection 22 hrs maybe!!]
You are doing the right things Faith, like writing in to this site. If nothing else is available to you right now, just take comfort in the blessing of this site, and all these guys here who are able to give you words of comfort and wisdom.
It's a blessing for ALL of us, even if we just read it.

And now for MY d--n quote;
[que 'Battle Hym of the Republic']
*In these times of economic uncertianty, it is easy to see who is truly interested in providing health care, and who is in it for the bucks.*
Tom S.

' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

#66388 - 05/23/03 05:27 PM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
Faith Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/24/03
Posts: 11
Thanks to everyone who has posted replies to my question. As usual, your insight is invaluable and so very appreciated.

Still trying to figure out this whole thing (being a partner of an sa survivor) and am finding it to be challenging, to say the least. I guess, like my name, you gotta have faith, but sometimes it's awfully hard.

#66389 - 05/23/03 06:16 PM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
James_dup1 Offline

Registered: 04/13/02
Posts: 1332
Loc: Wyoming
I can't answer your question. Yes I'm married 17 years now. I still dont know how to answer that question when my wife asks me "What do you "mean" when you say you love me?". But I guess I wonder does anyone really know, I mean I could give you a text book answer to the question, but that seems to me that is a question that has been asked sence the dawn of time. Good luck with this.

I have more issues than Rolling Stone!

#66390 - 05/23/03 11:56 PM Re: Question for the Male Survivors
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
We've been married for 28 years now, and some of the recent years have been hard ones.

I still have great trouble with making love, although I'm up to cuddling now \:D
Sex still has too many hang ups for me, I can sometimes make love, but there's still a battle raging in my head. I'm fighting memories, fantasies, flashbacks of touch. Making love should be free and spontaneous, and I have too much baggage dragging me down still.

If my wife read Outis' post she'd give me some hard tim I promise you ;\) , but try as I do sometime's I'm not that kind of expressive guy when it comes to love. I have my moment's, and she does appreciate them.

So I guess love for us is being in harmony, we don't set the world alight, but we can't live without each other. We know how each other feels. I suppose we read one anothers minds.

I can't imagine life without her.


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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