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#69507 - 12/18/05 02:38 AM Guidance Needed
chase-keith Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 8
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Hello. I have been in a committed relationship for about a year and a half now. He is a wonderful person however he thinks otherwise. I a the partner of a survivor. I have been reading the book "Allies in Healing" and have learned much about the behaviors I have seen. What I struggle with mostly is him at times feeling I deserve better and I need someone else to satisfy me because at the present time the thought of intimacy disgustes him. During the first 3 months of getting to know each other this issue was a non issue. It was after his feelings developed for me and the love grew the distinction for him to combine love and affection divorced. He is currently getting professional counseling and tells me very little at all about what he is going thru. I wish he would allow himself to open up. Besides the fact a male family member violated him, sunk his self esteem and created trust issues with relationships. I understand he dealt with difficult issues on his own. I try my best to encourage him he does not have to go thru this alone and wish he could better communicate his feelings with me. I also struggle with him asking me to come up with things to do and the things I suggest get shot down. I feel he is looking for me to satisfy his emotional distress and I do take it as a positive compliment from him, however I can not change how he feels but I sure wish I could.

Just looking for some practical advice and behavior suggestions to further our communication development.


#69508 - 12/18/05 08:05 AM Re: Guidance Needed
Rustam Offline

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 474
Loc: UK
Hi Keith,

Sounds like you are a very supportive partner. I have the three months of no problems and then the intimacy issues kick in, I have been with my partner for years now and itís still a struggle for me, but we are all different. What you describe with your partner sounds pretty familiar. I guess letting him know that you will listen if he wants to talk about his feelings is all you can do. Just having you must make an enormous difference, loving him when he canít love himself or finds it hard to accept that you care means a lot. I generally keep what I am doing in therapy to myself when I have waded through something and understand it better I sometimes tell my partner. Your partner will open up more when he is ready, most of us find it very difficult to talk about it particularly in the beginning.

On the issue of him asking you to come up with things and him rejecting the suggestions, I would be inclined to send that back and say well what would you want to do, if he has no answers its impossible for you to come up with something, its an impossible position for you. Its natural to want to take away the pain and as you said you canít. What I need when I am feeling down is just acceptance that that is how it is right now and that I am not being asked to feel differently.

Your needs and wants are equally valid and important in the relationship and relationships where one is the looked after and the other the caretaker donít work for either partner.

There is lots of good stuff in the Family and Friends forum there doesnít seem to me to be any difference for partners in hetero relationships. Mike Lews book if you or your partner havenít read it is also excellent, gay friendly with a section for partners, its available through the bookstore here.

Welcome to the site.

#69509 - 12/19/05 12:00 AM Re: Guidance Needed
cat lover Offline

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Somewhere - and I am no longer sure where - I have seen a page called something like "how to make love to a rape survivor." It was written for male/female relationships, but the basic concepts are the same.

It sounds like you are a wonderfully supportive, loving fellow. He'll open up when he's ready. It took me over a year to be willing to say the word 'rape' aloud, and longer to be willing to talk about it.


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