remaining hopeful, i thought about you a lot last night. there are some parallels.

i am the wife of a CSA survivor who is going through EMDR. we homeschool our children, which means i am completely financially dependent on someone who at times is very much unstable. it's a "pit of my stomach terrifying layer of dreadful stress" every time things get difficult because i then begin to wonder: how am i going to pull this off financially?

but so far, i always have. sometimes by the skin of my teeth, but i have.

Originally Posted By: remaininghopeful
I'm just afraid of doing the wrong thing. Pushing him or him thinking I'm judging or criticizing is the worst thing for him, though I don't want to feel like I am condoning his bad behavior, either. I think I just need to distance myself from it. He must know he's not okay and not acting okay, but I don't need to tell him that, too, right?

so i don't want to offend you by assuming that i know what you are thinking/feeling, but i also want to tell you about how i relate to your quote.

i ended up in a similar situation over the last three months. communication and trust between my husband and i faltered terribly. we were in counseling every week just to keep our marriage together. at one point, i asked him to leave.

i was making mistakes, he was making mistakes, but we were...too fearful and insecure to approach each other with open hearts. he is doing EMDR and i had forgotten how much upheaval that creates in relationships. i felt i was constantly being rejected, sexually, emotionally, physically. and he had forgotten that he could trust me.

anyways, it landed me in this cycle where i was so AFRAID OF DOING THE WRONG THING. i knew he was in pain, but i didn't understand why or how it was affecting our relationship. i knew i was very reactionary, so i tried not to have reactions. i knew i needed boundaries but i wasn't sure what they looked like. i knew we had children and i did not want to make the wrong choice by drawing a line in the sand i could not take back.

i was afraid of hurting him more. i was afraid of hurting our children. i was afraid that i didn't have the strength to stay, and i was afraid that i didn't have the strength to go.

i knew that he was processing sexual trauma AND verbal and physical abuse from his father. sometimes it was like i was speaking to his father, i didn't know where my husband had gone, and in his place was this sick, sarcastic, defeated, belittling man who didn't trust anyone. like psychological possession.

this is when i calmly asked him to leave. i told him how much i loved him, that i didn't want the relationship to end, that i was confused and needed space. he didn't actually leave. we went to counseling instead.

and to be honest, that session didn't help much either. what helped was going to my own therapist. i asked her what she thought of the situation and she said, "i believe in the power of EMDR. i say this tentatively, wait and see. he is working on himself, try cutting him a break." and that made sense. i had been so caught up in my own pain that i had forgotten how intense trauma therapy is.

and then i knew where the boundary was "no more sarcasm, no more meanness, no more belittling". clear as day.

and then i offered a white flag: i apologized for not being more compassionate and i thanked him for going to therapy.

my sponsor told me to write down five things i appreciate about him every day, and every day they have to be different. i put them on post its that i leave on the door.

and we're learning to trust each other again.

so i'm not saying stay or go. i recognize that there are big differences between our situations, but beware of the fear of stuffing, of fearing action and inaction, of fearing failure and being wrong and stuck. you have options. posting in this forum is a great option. write out your options...where can you go for insight and wisdom and support?

things between my husband and i improve from time to time and i cut out the supports, thinking that i don't need them now that things are good, but it doesn't work like that. living in this relationship means that i need to store up support credit, like a savings account, because there will come a time in the future when i really need all the wisdom and insight and compassion i can get just to be sane and loving. supports put that in the bank.

feel free to message me if you like. thank you for posting.