Wow, I am saddened and shocked at the responses you have received WP. This should be a safe place of support. You are a supporter no matter what anyone here has said. I have known many people who's relationships have broken down, including my own in the past and the only two people responsible are those in the relationship. I have been cheated on, but I have always held accountable the person who had a commitment to me, not the "other woman". I don't have a great deal of respect for women who knowingly start a relationship with someone committed, but I suspect those that do don't have a great deal of self respect to enter into a relationship with someone like that. I suspect they are fighting their own self esteem demons. I believe you said and believed his previous relationship was over but this is your business, not any of ours. Blame and anger and hateful words do not help anyone. You are now in a committed, long term relationship with a survivor whom you wish to learn how best to support. I doubt highly that your disappearing from his life would magically fix his issues or allow him to go running back to his previous partner. My husband had a five year relationship with a woman before we began dating and I was married for 7 years. Before anyone jumps on me, she left him after cheating on him with his best friend whom he had allowed to live with them because he was broke. My marriage ended for a myriad reasons. We knew one another already and began dating half a year later. Having now spent almost 14 years with my husband, I am certain that his CSA issues contributed to the breakdown of his previous relationship. I knew her and she was incredibly lonely with him. She was confused by his mixed signals and needed affirmation from him that he was not yet able to give. She made a terrible choice in cheating on him, but with his growth and better understanding of himself, he takes some responsibility in driving her away. In any case, relationships are complicated and succeed or fail due to so many factors. Forget his past and focus on your present. Choose what is best for you and whether you can be his supporter now. Ensure you set boundaries around his behaviour toward you and toward others. Choose what kind of man you are willing to be in a relationship with and then challenge him to be that man. I think we do our selfs and our partners an injustice if we don't demand the best from them... Demand in a loving way I mean. If we accept less, then we quietly communicate to them that we don't think they are capable of more. I know my husband is capable of being kind, loving, connected, healthy and self-loving. I believe he can retrace to the essence of the person he is/was before these terrible experiences trained him to think otherwise. He... rather we have struggled a lot over the last month after making big leaps forward. He has slid backwards in his progress and I have had to reassert my boundaries again and again. I have just gone through a very tough holiday season filled with loneliness, isolation, lashing out at me and pain. He has stopping talking again and has essentially stuck his head up his ass again. He does not notice or ask about my sadness... He has not the energy to care. But this is my choice to endure. I am in control of and responsible for what I subject myself to. I can walk away and I know that. No one binds me to this life or this relationship but me. I cannot control him and neither does anyone else. He makes these choices. I hope that when the season wanes and we get back to routine (he took a "break" from therapy over the holidays) that things will improve. If they do not, I will have to reassess but I will not blame him for my pain. I will continue to choose not to be codependent and take responsibility for my own experiences. I always have free will and I know my responsibility is to my own joy first and foremost. This is what I encourage you to seek WP. You can support and love and listen, but you cannot, nor ever will make a material difference in your survivor's recovery. This will be his choice. Hopefully he will not spin through the revolving door back to the place that destroyed his last relationship. I hope he finally finds the strength and courage to move forward, but if this does not happen, then it simple does not happen. You hold your love and good memories close to your heart and move forward with love and respect for yourself. You hope for him that he eventually finds that strength and finally learns how to have a healthy relationship. I can honestly say this is my greatest hope for my husband. If he does not reach this point with me, I will still hope this for him with someone in his future... because I do love him unconditionally. I want him to find joy, with or without me. I will always be ok because I will love myself and this is the greatest joy of all. I know in my heart I would never ever find anyone to love like I love my husband, but I will always be happy. This transformation in me over the last few years has been my recovery and my saviour. Happiness and joy is not something we find.... We do not find it in others, or in things we attain or in things we experience, we find it in ourselves. When we stop looking for others to make us happy, we learn to BE happy. We learn to direct our own lives and make choices that feed that joy. We take responsibility for ourselves and we finally, truly show ourselves loving kindness. This is what I hope for every single person who visits this site finds.... Survivors, supporters, partners, ex partners, and yes, even mistresses; because when this happens the transformation in us guides our choices to make them with love and respect towards others as well. No one who does harm to someone really knows love. They do not know love for themselves and therefore do not know how to truly know love for another. This greater light is what we should all be reaching for and helping each other to reach for. Only then do we crush, negate and destroy the hateful, destructive, disgusting abuse that happened to our loved ones when they were children. Only then do we truly triumph over the REAL evil. Only when we act with loving kindness to ourselves and to others do we act as a complete opposing force to the hateful, cruel actions that started this landslide that we all find ourselves suffocating under.
Love and lightness to all of you. May you all find a way to nurture your own wounds and move forward with love and respect for yourselves.
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky