I've been away from the boards for just over a year; it was too much. I thought...
In the past year, Husband's over-working has been over the top. He lost a business after traveling all summer to try to save it, my son's health issues worsened, another child was diagnosed with anxiety, the arguments became fierce. Husband stayed out all night one night without contact during the holidays and I began looking for a new home without him. That was my final boundary, and he crossed it: "Do not stay out, especially without contact, all night."
Until then, he had refused to move away from our property, which is next door to my MIL (abuse enabler, possible uPD). We each stopped individual therapy months before, in May last year. A few weeks before the all-nighter, he raged in MC, scaring me and the therapist. Raging at me or the kids had become his M.O., and the therapist referred him back to IC as a condition for continuing MC after he'd gotten at least 4 sessions in alone. December included 4 rages (one of which I sadly raged back with later in January....I hold resentments like a water bottle.)I don't know if any other acting out happened when he wasn't around me, and that eats at me. The rages were bad enough, though. It was not a pleasant month.
Halfway through January, something changed. I realized if I left, not only would I be broker than broke, but I'd lose my best friend. I made the effort to be the change I wanted to see, and found it was easier than I thought to deal with my own FOO stuff, redouble my efforts at getting rid of my own old tapes via IC, and get healthier because. Just because. My abandonment fear has been intense, but improving.
The marriage began improving almost immediately. Over two weeks, though, I watched his long slow breakdown hit its peak, and it's been heart-breaking. Dates had to be his way to give him the comfort of predictability. He buckled when at his new job, he needed to stand up for himself. (That worked out kind of in his favor any way, thankfully.) Sex became different, and I could tell he was dissociating because FtF was nonexistent. He then wanted traditionally "clean" dates, not that I mind, but in places that were really generically clean: coffee not near bars, where church people frequent (we're non religious), family style restaurants, the game room, one bar that had interactive trivia type stuff..."safe" places to avoid intimate conversations.
I held firm, still looking for a place to move, until the night he came home in tears. He had had therapy that morning, then worked, and said nothing about it. But I held him. I saw that he wasn't the only one breaking down trust.
I went NC with my own uPD mother, and insisted that we move away from his so we both could grow, that I could see the unspoken power she still tried to exert over him, at least until he didn't meet her unspoken needs. then it was very spoken. Very. He had my back with my own family, and I showed that his wellness is more important to me than enabling his unprotecting mother.
Today he disclosed more than he had two years ago when his relative went to prison. I think he was Relative's first victim. Husband threw it out to me over the phone immediately after his IC, called it a breakthrough, in that it explained his sudden snap into rage as a kid. Big step. Scary step.
I want to support him, yet still feel some resentment, as he hid behind insisting I seek therapy for 4+ years for my own CSA. I know...in time the disclosures happen. I don't know who will arrive home from work tonight, though. He'll have had all day to dissociate through work, or to ruminate at work. Neither are good. I truly don't know what to say. I can't say "Ah, I suspected as much", even though it's true and the signs were there for years.
February is the anniversary of his relative's (first)conviction on 5 counts of CSA with kids from his neighborhood, as well as the anniversary of my entering what turned out to be really triggering group therapy that gave me no coping tools. (I found awesome ones here and at Pandy's, by the way. Thank you for existing.) It's a rough month for us both. I left my group after three years, and have been without a group for two years, back in IC for 8 weeks now.
Thank you for the vent space, and any ideas of how to listen when he talks and how to discuss his CSA if/when he brings it up would be helpful. My mind wants details, but if it's anything like my experience (as a female, which is vastly different), responding appropriately means responding differently than I have with female friends who disclosed. And this is my husband. I'm at a loss.
*goes to read tools and info here*