Right, you're her husband, you have to say good things about her.
It's frustating and common to have a spouses opinions being worse much less than a strangers.
I was recently trying to come to terms with the fact of why I had such a strong urge to sleep with another woman early in my marriage when I thought I should have been satisfied. I deeply loved my wife. She was, and is, beautiful and sexy. Our sex has always been terrific. I wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I eventually saw a prostitute about 8.5 years ago, which I saw as a quick and no risk way to satisfy my urge. I did it again 2.5 years later, and then more often after that, for a total of about 12 times, last time being about 2 years ago.
So...I wanted to get to the bottom of this, so yesterday in therapy I took a break from ranting about my wife and her affair to talk about me. I had mentioned to him previously about what had happened to me as a child, and I found myself bringing it up. I said "do you think this has something to do with my sister molesting me?"
"Yes," he said , "I was just about to say that."
His theory, which pretty much goes with my behavior, is that my abuse (which I thought was great at the time, I really enjoyed it) had implanted in me a need to feel special by being "chosen" by a woman for sex.
I am lucky enough to be quite attractive to women, and so my life's mission when I was younger was to get women to want me. Not neccessarily for one night stands, I had long term relationships as well, but I always wanted more. It literally is a high I get when a woman wants me, even if I don't have sex with her. Flirting which is reciprocated can be very stimulating to me. I also indulged in alot of random and sometimes risky sexual behavior.
Now you may ask yourself "why did he pay for sex if he felt so gratified by being "chosen" for sex by a woman?" The answer is that I really wanted an actual affair(s) but I was always too scared to torpedoe my marriage by being found out. I always figured prostitutes wouldn't call up my wife and tell her, but a woman I got in a relationship might. because the hookers didn't feel any real attraction towards me except that I had money to pay them, my encounters never got me that gratification I desired. So I stopped doing it. Then I just got grumpy and miserable , which of course I took out on my wife. She started to really dislike me for a while, and , surprise! , she had an affair for about 8 months starting last fall.
So we are working it out, but I am really scared that these feelings in me will bubble up strongly again and I'll end up in bed with someone other than my wife. We've discussed this and I've promised to tell her if I'm getting urges which I'm having trouble controlling again. And vice versa of course.
My therapist advised me to think about it like trying to quit a bad habit, like smoking. What he meant was that I had control of it, and I could resist my urges if I truly wanted to. One of the ways to help that is to make sure my marriage is as good as it can be, and that we can talk about anything with each other without shame or embarrassment. My wife, although not a SA victim, also has had a tendency to use sex for a high in the past. This tendency came roaring back during her affair. So we're both fucked up, I'm just more so on this subject.
So anyway, I've been thinking about this alot lately, and I saw this thread and wanted to relate my story.
[This message edited by Weightless at 2:10 PM, September 4th (Thursday)]
I've been thinking, and from wh sexual contact, and boundaries. at I've read it's not unusual, that SAb survivors can get "stuck" on a maturity level. I've really been able to "get this" lately. It seems that he's in highschool mode emotionally. Not in all his emotional aspects, but those of love, physical-
I have been searching on SI for a while now believing that the answer to my questions and explanations to my situation at home would be on here somewhere. I stumbled accross this quote in this forum dated earlier this year and stopped in my tracks.
My WW is exactly that. She was the victim of SA when she was very young and even after being married to me for decades she will not discuss it or seek IC about it.
She waited until we were married for 25 years and two weeks after our anniversary she accepted an invitation from a total stranger for sex. He had been playing her for months but something in her fianally broke and she did something that seemed so very much outside her that it still shocks me to this day, and that LPA ended over 6 years ago.
The point is that she behaved EXACTLY like she did when she was a teenager and had no opportunity to grow up and mature past those years in her life. She chased and flirted and bought and sexed this guy for a year just like she was hiding a boyfriend from her dad 35 year prior. I only understood then that she was so doing things so totally out of charecter for her that she was not the same person I married. I did not see it then but she was somehow going back, and getting stuck, in her teenage level of maturity...dating like she was the queen of the prom and having a great time.
Her behavior and refusal to deal with the discovery of her known affair and her denied affairs fits the descriptions in this forum to a T.
Sex is a means to gain something to her not an intimate act. She treats me like shit or ignores me when she doesn't need something but the whole time is out being the center of attention, the local expert on everything, and rescuing anyone else she can.
I don't know all the details of how this looks to the more informed, or how it feels to the victimized, but I do know that this forum describes her decades of behavior better than anything I have ever come accross before.
I guess I am just getting to the point of trying to figure out how to deal with this and not take it so personal that she up and cheated on me after all this time.
What a struggle for both of us but I can see now it was worse for her. It scares me that she refuses to IC or talk to me. I am not qualified to be able to get her through something this complicated by myself and in the mean time I remain the victim of her manipulation, denial, resual to do the work and endless superiority games.
Any suggestions or PM's would be much appreicated.
[This message edited by TwoHearts at 3:46 PM, September 11th (Thursday)]
I've told her more than once about the things she needs to do to heal and why, and it's like throwing a stone down a deep well -- I never hear a splash. Some people just don't want to be healed, or don't want to do what's necessary for it
After typing the post above I am still coming across more insight that hits home so well. I remember telling her that the only way we could heal after her LTPA was if she finally agreed to IC and to work on problems from her childhood as well. Little did I know how deep that well really is. She stopped after 5 IC sessions without telling me, as soon as she realized that I was not seeking a D.
This continues to make more sense to me now. Her SA issues must be worse than I thought.
It seems so much like my WW when I read this SAb info. She was stuck in her teen age years unwilling to do the work and wanting the attention of other men instead of dealing with her problems.
I can understand that she had to hit bottom to be able to bounce back up, but she still refuses IC or transparency with me.
The best thing I can come up with is to tough it out and hope it doesn't happen again.
I would really appreciate someone telling me what some of the other symptoms are and what I should watch for...or do about it. I have not got the knowledge to recognize or deal with this like I should.
Because of her PTSD and possible borderline personality she is incapable of dealing with emotions so our conversations are from the neck up. If I express any fear or anger or frustration it frightens her so deeply we have to quickly change the subject.
We also are in a financial mess and have to make our house ready for sale. I have always been in charge of finances and my wife enjoys not having to fret about those things.
At the same time our 14 year old son needs a lot of attention. He is reaching a crucial stage in his schooling and needs a strong hand to guide him away from playing video games and doing his home work. My wife has always done most of the disciplining but now is incapable as she no longer has the patience leaving the job up to me.
So I have to deal with the recent A and it's effect on our marriage, her childhood trauma and resulting emotional unavailability, selling our home that we both dearly love and setting our son straight before it is too late. Any one of those problems would be a huge task that would need us both working together to solve but I feel that it is now all up to me,
I don't know what else to say except I am completely overwhelmed by all this.
Future - I so understand the overwhelmed part and the fact that you really have no outlet for you on all of this. My W is unavailable to dixcuss most any of this or the A or anything emotional. The biggest advantage you have is that she is IC. But something I learned the hard way is to insure that the IC is compentent in that area. When my W tried IC, the guy was an idiot and flubbed up the process. It also scared her away from trying again.
Keep at it, but also try to slowly shift some of the responsiblities back onto your W. It is needed for both her and you. The overload will only worsen if not. She needs to help with the boy and aith the house. Having a say and shared responsiblity in the family is what she needs also, it works toward the acceptance issues she faces.
My W has a need to be accepted, and having a say in the house and other areas helps meet that.
I need to get to work, but keep at it. Also look at posting in the Betrayed mens forum. You would be surprised at how much of this is here. There are also some really great women here who are and have dealt with this issue. I have learned so much from all of the perspectives.
Hang in there, it is a long ride.
I hear you brother, my wife is a survivor, and I end up doing about 65% of the work in our marriage.
I told the MC I was raised by a single mother, and I am a csa survivor with very limited memories before age 10. As well as some confused memories in my teen years. The memories I have are are like snapshots of someone else I am not connected to.
and there are inappropriate things happening to the child in these pictures in my head. Our MC has recommended for me an IC someone who is experienced in childhood trauma.
I think because of csa I learned to compartmentalize, I called it “jamming” because what you do not acknowledge can’t crush you”. I jammed all feelings except confidant happy and angry. Most would tell you I am a strong person someone they would go to in a crisis. I can “get things done”. I have no fear.
Little do they know I do have a fear that fear is that men leave. So for my entire marriage I expected my husband to leave. I love him with all my heart and lived in fear daily that he would leave me.
I never asked too much of him, I did not nag him to do chores or, help more with our son. He could have his friends over any time and get drunk, what ever he wanted to do to be happy.
My job was to keep my husband happy so he would not leave. His hobbies kept him busy, and his friends, I told him I was lonely in our marriage and then said to him “you keep doing what you want, I don’t want to interrupt, I know you love me. I thought as long as he was happy he did not leave. He was happy I was not.
Thing is I did not know that, I jammed those negative feelings. I would ask my husband to be more involved with me and our son in one breath, and in the next tell him it is alright honey “it all about you being happy”. I was fine. I love him he loves me my marriage was fine, everything is good. That is what I kept telling my self.
I have come to the conclusion it was easier for me to have A than to look at my failing marriage or to admit I needed more intimacy from my husband. I always thought needy feelings are for weak people.
I think my coping skills developed as a young child made me afraid to feel. Having the A, risking everything and looking at what I had done. Made me look at how close I came to making a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This made me look at having to rethink my belief system. That denying feelings was perhaps not such a good thing.
My husband commented on my attitude as being 1 or 10
1. “Feeling worthless and afraid not worthy of anyone’s love”
This attitude used to be rare, however now with repressed memories returning they are more frequent and I am now familiar with anxiety.
(and Yikkes!! I understand now why people cut. I have equated the A to cutting, as it could be as self-destructive.)
10.“Strong and ready for a challenge, “Bring it on I can save the world”. Then occasionally usually after a yelling match and an emotional melt down, my husband would see a more “tender softer side of me” he said. He liked to see that side of me more.
That description made me feel a bit sick and the MC mentioned that it seemed I did not like that description, and asked “Why”?
It was then I had an “aha” moment.
I said, “ That person with feelings could not save anyone in a crisis”! My response surprised me because of anger in my tone.
So I know I have a lot of work to do to accept that there is not a constant need to be prepared for crisis. I am trying to believe that my husband will not leave and that having feelings does not make you weak. I am about to begin the EDRM to help me with that.
So I just want to say to Future I understand why your wife does not want to deal with her feelings but know with all you are facing right now… is she at least good in a crisis?
[This message edited by hianxiety at 7:42 PM, October 4th (Saturday)]
She too will no longer try to work through things and lives by jamming.
I have actively tried to work with all of this for near on ten years and her EA's and PA.
Problem is - the damage created on the on the other side of the relationship can ring a death knoll.
The inability or the lack of desire to confront the issues is horrible.
I applaude your efforts.
I have learned that those who developed “normally” have emotions, process emotions and file emotions.
People who suffer a trauma get blocked, when these survivors experience emotions they are quickly filed without processing them.
“What you do not acknowledge can’t crush you”.
I used to put all these “feelings” in an imaginary box and after the A,
that box busted wide open. It was not pretty on that day let me tell you.
After 40 yrs with limited emotions the onslaught of new ones
is terrifying, I feel anxious most of the time and it is physically exhausting.
I am so used to being in control and unfeeling (for the lack of a better word) I could accomplish much in a day.
Now I am so distracted at times by trying to “keep the lid on “ it scares me.
Now the feelings and thoughts are coming so fast I fear I have no control at all. Tears at the back of my eyes most of the time. This is a tough place to be in. The more feelings I allow myself to have, the weaker I feel.
The weaker I feel the harder it is to block the ugly pictures from my childhood. It makes me nauseous, and I want to run until I drop. I want to scream! It really is fight or flight, panic.I feel so fragile, not the warrior I once was.
Maybe that is why your wife has got stuck. Perhaps she is tired out.
As I said it was easier to have an “A” than to admit a failure or do the hard work of self-reflection and connecting myself to the trauma I suffered in childhood. The "A" was a distraction from the pain. If you don't hurt you can rest.
This is the hardest thing I have ever done; I should say tried to do as I am at the beginning of this journey.
I have only begun to look at expanding my emotional palette, and hope that I am able to have the strength to feel and process them all. I still do Jam, I need to or I would not be able to go out in public. My jamming skills are not what they used to be so on my weaker days I can’t leave the house for fear I would have a public melt down.
My Husband is willing to stand by me, but it is hard for him too.
I love him and I don’t like to see him unhappy, it’s so hard knowing I am the reason.
[This message edited by hianxiety at 4:52 PM, October 5th (Sunday)]
I am a SAS who suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of an older brother. It recently came up in IC and PT (psychotherapy) and it has been a living nightmare ever since. I looked at it all for the first time in decades and can vividly recall the first time and the insanely scared feelings... I remember praying that my parents or someone would come in the room and stop it all and at the same time I prayed that no one would come in and see me like that.
Ick... These feelings are so confusing and only after joining SI did I find a link between my A and the past SA. My question is this though...
In order to heal or move on or fix me, (and in turn hope to fix my marriage and help my hurting BS) where do they start? I mean, it was scary, nightmare awful and I hate the idea of these images and feelings being illuminated for any length of time. I even remember how my abuser got me to do what he wanted and looking back on it, it was a threat that really was not too big of a deal. He told me he was going to tell my parents that I did something (a minor thing that he caught me trying to fix) unless... and I was too stupid or young or scared to say "Go ahead... tell them."
Now my marriage is in tatters and my thoughts are racing around inside this haunted house that is my mind. What can I hope to expect from either IC or PT? I have IC tomorrow and PT on Friday... Thanks for anything on what to expect.
"The straightest path often leads to the crookedest ends." - Miles