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#467959 - 07/25/14 05:01 AM My CSA Survivor Husband left me last week....
WontGiveUp Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
I made a mistake. I pushed to hard for him to start working towards recovery. I didnt want him to loose the ground he gained and it felt like he was slipping back into old ways, withdrawing from our relationship. I felt like he was giving up, and it terrified me. With all the pressure I was under from life (work, mother dying of cancer, house issues) I cracked a bit. I ended up contactin a lawyer and paid a deposit for starting divorce procedures. I certainly DO NOT want a divorce, but it was all I could do to get his attention.

So he moved out. To his friends who promptly surrounded him with all the things he fought so hard to get away from... video games, drinking, smoking, going to the bar. He was doing that with in the first day of moving out. I love these friends very much - but they have an outlook on life, love and relationships that conflict with my husband's and mine- all while seeming so "fun" etc.

Now he is telling me he needs time to sort things out and think about if he wants to continue this relationship. He says he doesnt want to keep putting me through all this pain. Says on one hand he wants to come home, jump right back into the shelter of our home and marriage and fight, and then on the other hand he feels at peace that this is the right thing to do - let me go so that he doesnt hurt me anymore with his lack of intimacy and recovery fallout from his CSA.

What he doesnt understand is that the hurt I suffer is when he GOES AWAY. I love him with all my heart - just the way he was, is and will be. I want to be there for him, and I want him to come home. He says he needs another couple of weeks to think things out. I am trying to accept it - but it hurts. I miss him horribly, and I am afraid that being around people who do not have the same ideas about relationships, who will encourage him to live like a 20 year old (he is 41) and get sucked back into the bar scene and playing video games will be too much temptation to go back to the safety of those addictions and prison. We worked so hard to break down those walls... he used Warcraft as an escape from real life...

This spring he was just on the verge of soaring in life. He beat all his addictions. he was eating good and excersizing daily. He was managing his ADHD and he was being kind and good to me. Then it suddenly switched off and I didnt understand why. I asked for months - but the answer was "My past, and I need to think about finding time to think about it" instead of getting help. I was at my wits end - but I didnt want to do this. I begged him for other options. His only option to offer was him living with the friends. Unacceptable to me. So I contacted a lawyer and he left 2 days later.

Its my fault - I made the mistake of letting my emotion and stress affect us and let it direct me to push him when I should not have. I was not clear in the mind and now - after everything, 5 years of standing by him through ALL of the bad stuff...lies, betrayals, porn, gaming problems etc.... I make this mistake and he has to think about it. My soul is crushed.

I know I am rambling - but I am tired, exhausted mentally and physically. I miss him terribly but will give him the space he needs. I am confused on what to plan for and unsure how to act to him. All I want to do is throw my arms around him and tell him how much I love him.

I dont know of if any of you have gone through a separation and came out the other side with a better marriage... but I hope so. I am trying to hope. I am just so sad right now. I am trying to find stories of survivors who recovered and have happy, fulfilling lives so that I can work towards that with my own dear husband. I love him more than life.
*** 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.

#467967 - 07/25/14 06:13 PM Re: My CSA Survivor Husband left me last week.... [Re: WontGiveUp]
NoSimpleMachine Offline

Registered: 06/05/14
Posts: 223
Loc: SF Bay Area
WontGiveUp...being concerned about your husband's progress is very caring of you, but it must be balanced with the reality of CSA recovery: sometimes there are backward steps. Sometimes there are relapses. Sometimes there are old stomping grounds that need to be revisited and learned from again. When it comes to recovery, it's signal and it's noise...the signal is the general trend of healing. The noise is the ups and downs of life on a day to day, week to week basis. It is inevitable that the noise will include some dips...that doesn't mean that the signal is fading.

Love for your husband includes patience for your husband. Letting go of any personal feelings of failing his recovery, taking blame for his backward steps. They are natural and should be expected in the grand scheme. I feel you are implying that you are partially to blame for his fall from a good place and that's a big reason this is as hard as it is, and perhaps why you went forward with the divorce route...not from a place of really genuine self-care or care for your husband, but from a place or guilt and hurt. That guilt won't help you, and isn't appropriate if you've genuinely loved your husband and express it healthily.

I've heard it many times since joining on MS, CSA survivors never recover completely. The trauma of abuse can never be completely erased. Your husband will always carry a piece of that with him no matter how much he grows and heals in his life, it is a huge part of who he is and how he approaches living.

As for his friends who want him to "live like a 20 year old"...that's a complicated nut to crack. Is it a fair assumption on your part that adult life can't look that way? He could play video games and have friends who go to bars and be healthy and happy in his life. Maybe he isn't the way things currently stand but if he was happy AND did those things, could you accept it? I mean, video games have been around for 30+ years now, it's kinda an outdated notion that it's a juvenile pursuit...gaming is heavily targeted at adults these days. (Not like I'm trying to discredit your impression that this is part of his backslide, but I am trying to say that they are not inherently linked by virtue of the quality of those activities, they are causally linked by what's going on in your husband's brain).
If I know only one thing it's that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy and I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing Helplessness Blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

#467968 - 07/25/14 06:54 PM Re: My CSA Survivor Husband left me last week.... [Re: WontGiveUp]
WontGiveUp Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
NoSimpleMachine - thank you so much for your reply. In my rambling, probably not making sense post - I dont think I was really clear on the issues we have faced compared to what is going on now.

Zero intimacy, lack of connection... his choice of porn/fantasy over me, constant lying, HUGE addiction to MMOs (not just games, specifically MMOs), the smoking and drinking and being at the bar almost EVERY night - thats the problem I have.

We faced those things. I have no problem at all with him playing video games when it doesnt interfere with living a healthy life. But when he plays MMOs he has no self control to stop. It becomes his primary focus - have to support the guild, have to back up my team mates, have to do my "dailies". He and I have been through several years of counseling to help break the bad behaviors and get them in control. We are talking about someone who has an EXTREMELY addictive personality and who isnt able to see the forest for the trees so to speak (big time ADHD that is only partially treated).

Love for my husband has been me sticking with him through all the lies, all the betrayals, all the disappointments, all the rejections. Love for my husband has been being faithful to every promise, never betraying him, never lying to him, being there through all the hard times even when I was furious, hurt or disgusted. Love for my husband is seeing past ALL of that to get to the bottom of whats going on (something he never even attempted before) and sticking through with him. Love for my husband is letting him do what he needs to do while I cry myself to sleep every night in hope that he makes the decision to not give up on us - kinda like I didnt give up on us over every crisis of the past 5 years.

Do I feel guilt? Absolutely. I was not in a good frame of mind with all the stress I am under right now when we had that conversation. Between a dying mother, possible financial ruination, working 80 hours a week, sick pets, a step-daughter moving out of state, emotional fall out from several deaths in my imediate family... yeah. I feel guilt because I had a moment of weakness and voiced my frustration when I probably should have waited until I had a cooler, less emotional frame of mind. Its not healthy - and I will forgive myself.

I realize that this will ALWAYS be part of who he is, but he doesnt have to let it control him. Before the most recent shutdown - he was on the verge of soaring above it all. he had conquered his addictions, was eating REALLY well, working out daily and was in focus. His ADHD was in control, he was excelling at work, was starting to get back into his hobby (midieval fighting) and was doing REALLY well. Then suddenly... he started retreating again. I panicked. We were very close...

I think I have been very healthy in how I have handled most of our interactions. As soon as he was diagnosed with ADHD and depression (depression is not a solid diagnosis but its pretty obvious)I spent most of my free time trying to understand it and support him and alter my behavior so that my reactions dont trigger things and help HIM focus and be "better".

This isnt going away - I know it. His ADHD isnt going away, I know it. But it neither have to rule his or my life. Everything is still a choice. I dont expect him to be perfect or even what I thought I was getting into - but I expect him to try and work on recovery.

Living like a 20 year old.. well yes, definitely complicated. Could not agree more. But thats the mentality. It has more to do with how he uses those activities (porn, games, smoking, the bar) to hide from and retreat from facing this and recovering. its less scary you see. Going back into that self made cocoon is soothing because its familiar and "safe". But there is no quality to that kind of life (which even he said only 2 months ago).

For my dear husband - these activities are a symptom, not a cause. He is pretty easy to read in that sense. Once he starts moving back to the old habbits - I gurantee something is amiss or about to blow up. Every. Single. Time. The difference this time is that I didnt have what it took to hold it all together and I let my emotion run the show.

If he was healthy, and our relationship was healthy - you bet I would be accepting to those behaviors (other than the porn). In fact, I LOVE seeing those friends (they have been MY friends for 20+ years too), I love going to the bar occasionally and having a great time with them. I love playing games (like Magic, and other RPGs) and while I cant play lots of video games, I really like Halo (have all the books etc). Its not the behavior that is juvenile, its the attitude and the lack of ANYTHING else that is the problem.
*** 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.

#468223 - 07/30/14 06:28 PM Re: My CSA Survivor Husband left me last week.... [Re: WontGiveUp]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
I empathize a lot with your situation. For years I pushed and cried myself to sleep. I wore me down and H and I separated for a couple months earlier this year. I've been back home for almost a month now.
I can't speak for H but I can tell you that I learned a lot during our time apart. The first decision I had to make was if I wanted to stay in my marraige. In my case I didn't feel right about leaving. Not because of H but because deep down I knew that I had more to learn from the relationship and that if I walked away I would be missing out on a major growth opprotunity for myself. While I was away I read a book that changed my life. Its called A Return To Love : Reflections on a course in miracles.
If you are into reading I highly recommend it. The first quater is a little slow but then it gets really good.
Anyway I realized that there is only half of my marraige I can control and that half is me. I started taking a good look in the mirror and asking myself what I wanted to bring to my marraige and who I want to be. I looked back at the last 7 years and could see where the CSA battle had swallowed me up. How it had become the thing I gave way too much energy to. How no matter how much I wanted H to change and to fight harder all I could do was change myself and change how much power I allowed his stuff to have in my life.
So even though when we first separated I had all of these conditions for my return I had a major change of heart.
I called H and told him I was coming home. I told him that I was in counseling and I was going to take care of myself and work on myself. I apologized for the ways I had tried to control him. I told him that perhaps I don't know what will make him happy. That maybe for him drinking and partying really will fullfill him and that while I don't agree with his behavior I won't stand in his way anymore. I won't try to get him to open up and talk to me. He can go do what he wants and Ill just focus on nuturing myself.
I know that this might sound strange and like I'm being a doormat for his bad behavior but once I released all responsibility for his choices I felt a huge weight lift from me. I felt empowered and strong knowing that I was working to love my H for who he is instead of who he could be. It felt good to know that I made the choice to bring acceptance to my marraige and change and fix the things I can control. This all feels good but Ill be honest it is a process and its very very hard. In fact its the hardest thing I've ever done by far. But people that know me are seeing change in me for the better as am I so I know I'm on the right track.
Only you can know what is right for you and your marraige. If I was in your shoes I would tell H that I love him and want him to come home. That I will work on my end of things without condition. That I'm sorry for the ways I added to his hurt. That I will no longer try to control his recovery and then just wait. Let him smoke and drink himself sick. Let him play video games until his eyeballs fall out of his head. His pain will still be there and eventually he will realize that he is doing it to himself. That is doesn't make things go away or feel better. As long as we as partners try to control or push we will get blamed for the survivors pain.
Maybe my ideas on it aren't right for your situation but I thought I would share what I went through with my separation. I will say that since I've committed to this new approach H reacts very differently to me and the change happened pretty quickly. He no longer blames me for silly things or finds reasons to pick a fight. Which is nice I'm still lonely and its not easy but I'm getting better and I figure for this marraige to have the best chance of pulling through one of us needs to be commited to unconditional love and happiness.
Everything comes from within


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