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#504539 - 12/02/16 03:46 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
WontGiveUp Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas

Thank you so much for chiming in here.... Honestly, you seem like a unicorn :-). Rare and special! Reading your posts, I am always amazed at your perspective, your bravery (and yes, that is 100% what it is to put your self in a place where you are vulnerable, especially when its uncomfortable or scary or both), your kindness, and your amazing empathy for supporting partners.

I love that for you, love IS enough. I love that you put you partner first and she puts you first. When each partner gives the other their best - both partners GET the best.

you said this: "In some ways I suppose you could say our relationship is extremely wrong, since we both are so very focused upon the other person, indeed debates of the sort "what do you want for dinner tonight" "well what do you! want" are rather common. "

Who ever would say your relationship with your wife is extremely wrong is crazy! The love and generosity you both share is inspiring. I have read your posts for a long time, and I can with 100% belief say that love saved you. But not just her love for you. I think your willingness to accept love, and to turn around and GIVE love (true love, love that is a verb, love that is doing for your partner because you WANT to, like you said, doing the dishes as a gesture of love for her) - I think that saved you.

You can receive love, but it will never be enough until you return it and experience that joy. Its scary though - scary for CSA survivors and those who have not experienced CSA. I understand that CSA survivors have a whole set of compulsions and fears that non-survivors dont, but we nons still experience fear in the process.

But once you open yourself up to truly recieve love, and accept that its love with out an ulterior motive (control, manipulation, power) - you can then turn around and GIVE that same love back. And that my friend is pure beautiful magic.

I think Love IS enough when both partners ACT WITH LOVE. Love isnt a feeling - its a verb. Its putting your partner first. Its sacrifice, its work. The benefits you get from that work are unspeakably wonderful. Better than anything else in life.

Thanks so much Luke - again you have inspired me! :-)
*** rising from the ashes like a phoenix ***

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

#504591 - 12/05/16 02:27 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2651
Loc: durham, north england
Ironically, I've tried to reply to this topic three or four times, and each time been interupted for one thing or another.

@Ceremony, Why is accepting help humiliating? Sorry after my wife's own emotional abuse by her first husband and the sociopath who followed I just don't have tolerance for this sort of thing. Why should you be denied the right to be hurt if your a man?

Believe me, I recognize worthlessness. I live with it like a second skin. Any description of myself would run thus five foot ten, dark hair, thirty four years old, worthless. I see my own face in the mirror, I cringe. If I'm out in public I have to struggle to not imagine people are seeing me as disgusting, like a shambling ape. If I write or cook or sing or do anything else, I hate my own efforts, can only be harsh and self critical.

The one weapon I've found against this sense of worthlessness, is simply to accept it. I know I think this of myself, so I realize that I am biased. I do not pay attention to my own opinions of myself, anymore than I'd pay attention to the opinions of someone who was biased against me for some other reason, like someone who hated all disabled people, all men, all caucasians etc.
I cannot shift this perception of myself, but neither do I have to care about it. This is where my wife has helped me, since while I have no idea why! she loves me, and sometimes the person she describes is a stranger, at the same time I cannot deny the fact she does love me.

@Won't give up, I don't know about special, since I can certainly say I have my off days, as does my wife since we're both definitely human. I'll also say we did have at least a few advantages.
My wife cannot have children, I have never wanted children, so we can pretty much just please ourselves and be focused on each other. This is not to cryticise people who have children, just that I recognize the extra emotional strain.

The reason I said our relationship could be thought of as a bit wrong is that we are so very dependent upon each other, indeed we have to be quite careful with things like requests and who does what, just because we're always conscious of the other person.

In terms of sa, I actually had told my wife a little before we got together. Indeed since she was with someone else, I thought she was better off without me.
Of course, I'd been on male surviver since 2007, and been to see a councillor in 2014. I'd never say i was better, but this at least did let me know where I physically was myself, albeit I seemed to have reached a point where my life was entirely stuck, unable to progress and I was just lost in a loop, indeed I thought I'd be spending the next fourty years in the same place since I couldn't see any way forward with relationships, friends, even my vocation.

One of the few advantages of genophobia, is that we had! to be practical about it, since there was just no other way of dealing with it, indeed I was amazed that after reading Alex Comfort's book, what he recommended a s/xual therapist do for dealing with genophobia was exactly what my lady had done fairly instinctively.


#504594 - 12/05/16 03:37 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3710
I think love is a foundation but by itself can a building be built on top? I wish I had the answer.

I know when love is not expressed, for it can for some be buried in the heart, it is destructive and harms the souls. Sometimes survivors cannot find or feel the love, they retreat into themselves through addictions, loneliness, dissociation, and other means to protect themselves from a pain that is so deep and crippling for many. As my T, doctors and others who have worked with trauma have said only the survivor can feel the depth of the pain and the supporters are there to give empathy, love and support while ensuring their own well being.

I know pain, torment and other inflicting triggers is destructive and can cause a survivor to self destruct, to implode. Should the converse being love have the opposite impact--in time it will for many and for others the survivor cannot find themselves and life just passes by.

I believe without love the foundation to build on is not present and the structure will be fragile. I wish I had the answer. Only together can you build the home, you have the foundation in the love you have but one cannot carry it alone.

I love love and when my friend is here I have a different sense of life. When she leaves I am pushed back to the world of remembering and reliving triggers and torment which resurrects the visceral and visual memories of the abuse. So love can be the catalyst to a survivors healing but hate, abandonment, lies and denials of the abuse by others may unravel the positivity of love.

I guess the answer lies within each of us.

#504595 - 12/05/16 04:02 PM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
WontGiveUp Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
KMCINVA, yeah - I think you are right about survivors, but I really think that applies to everyone, not JUST survivors. I know a ton of people who just do not allow them selves to feel love, or they are just too self centered to "act in love" - and that doesnt mean pretend you are loving, it means making decisions and doing actions from the perspective of love.

I know with my husband, he retreats into addictions, retreats and thinks he is not capable etc. But the reality he IS, and HAS shown love at times (before he falls back into the fog) - but love is not selfish, and he absolutely IS selfish. Its not a state of being he can maintain for long. I feel really sorry for him because being in the state of real love, though sometimes hard, is wonderful and beautiful in ways that I just cannot describe.

First step is to getting to that state is understanding that being in the state of real/true love has very little to do with those romantic feelings you get - that butterflies in the stomach thing. Thats there to get you started - but real love, that comes later, that solid faith and believe in your partner and trust that they have your back (even when you are fighting). The butterflies come and go, being romantic comes and goes with the tide. If someone tries to base "being in true love" on that - they will never ever be happy and float from relationship to relationship until they are finally alone.

That might be fine for people - and if so - more power to them! But it is not what I want. I want something deeper, something real and tangible. And I do think that when you DO have that real true, honest to goodness love that IS enough, because its when you start looking to give your partner the best in you. And they in turn give the best of them to you. I believe with my whole heart when two people give the best of themselves to eachother there is NOTHING they cannot accomplish.

But you get no where if your partner undercuts you and keeps the best for themselves while expecting the best out of you. That dynamic is unsustainable. You will go empty, and the fires go out.

Thats my personal opinion of course, but made through experience and education on relationship dynamics. I would love for everyone here to find themselves in a situation where they are in a true loving relationship. Everyone deserves that support, that trust, that absolute understanding that they have someone there for them who has their back.

It takes 2 though. And while there will be times that are hard, and there will be crisis. Get through them together and the reward is nothing short of incredible.
*** rising from the ashes like a phoenix ***

Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

#504612 - 12/06/16 05:48 AM Re: is love enough? [Re: misscrespo]
HealingHope Offline

Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 261
@kmcinva thank you for sharing this, I feel it captures my perception of where my survivor finds himself too. For me my love for him will always be enough and I know it's the thing he used to struggle to understand, he'd say I shouldn't love him because I think he found it a torment because he felt he wasn't worthy and trapped in his situation to give me the love and life he wanted to give me. I wish every day that he would return to me, because when we were in the moment together it truly was beautiful. A friend of ours told us both we're so much better for each other together and a mess apart. It's true. How you've described your friend is how it's felt for us too, we literally ascended to the perfect place of joy and love, but maybe that's why it never seemed to last because perhaps he felt it was another world, one he couldn't maintain because of the complexed situation he couldn't leave.
I will never stop loving him and will never give up on hope. I believe that love is enough, it's energy is the most powerful thing on earth, but we need faith too and so I've always said I have enough hope and faith for the both of us. His strength and courage to get through everyday is where my love was born for him, and just sharing this has reminded me just how proud of him I am and I will never stop loving this man.

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