My wife is a survivor

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campdog
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My wife is a survivor

Post by campdog »

Well, the heading says if you need advice ask for it so I'm asking. But I'm asking for help for myself.

The title of this thread was deliberately chosen. I think that anyone who is involved in a situation similar to mine will instantly know what I'm talking about when they read it. My wife is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. We have been together 13 years. She recovered her memories a year ago after 25 years of repression. But again, this thread isn't about her, it's about me.

There are now plenty of resources for survivors of CSA, thank God, but there is precious little in the way of support for their spouses/partners. Not much has been written on the subject either. It has been an unbelievably difficult year for my wife and I. She is getting the support she needs from me (I hope) and from counseling. But I am unable to find any support groups for partners of survivors. Not in the area where I live, not on the web and not listed with any survivors support organizations. But I know that I am not unique in my experiences or alone in my own personal need for support. So I started this thread here in hopes of hearing from others in my situation. My thought is that they are finding it as difficult as I in connecting with others who share their plight. I am on the cusp of leaving my marriage and what you see is me desperately reaching for some straw that will show me the way to stay in my marriage and my family.

I don't know if this is the appropriate place for a thread of this type. I don't know what type of responses this thread will generate, if any. Who knows? I might even get banned. But what I'm hoping is that others who can relate to my plight will speak to me. I am suffering the devestating effects of what happened along with my wife but have only a counselor to speak to once a week on Wednesdays. OK? I have my fingers crossed, I don't know what else to do.
campdog
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valerie
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My wife is a survivor

Post by valerie »

She's getting the support she needs from you and yet you are thinking

of leaving the marriage? Sorry, I don't get it.



I have no experience with this, but there are an awful lot of good

people here, maybe someone can help. It was worth a try.
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campdog
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My wife is a survivor

Post by campdog »

I understand your confusion Valerie, I know how it sounds. I'm not posting here to vent or to list any grievances I have with my wife and it would be a huge post to try to explain what is going on in my life. I truly believe that anyone who loves a survivor will know where I'm coming from and it's their support I am so desperately seeking. Folllow this thread ma'am if you're interested and if it thrives you'll see a whole part of life that sadly affects far too many people.

I thank you for your interest and your encouragement. And it's nice to see that I haven't so far gotten yelled at or banned.

Just had a thought. I may be a little clearer if I say that while there are plenty of resources available for ways in which you can support your survivor partner I can't find anything that offers support for me. We suffer personally along with empathising with the sufferings of those we love.
campdog
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LilacDragon
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My wife is a survivor

Post by LilacDragon »

I am a survivor and all I can really tell you is that the unerring patience of my husband has helped me heal.

You need to be patient and give it time. I have been with my husband for 10 years and every once in a while I still have "a bad day".
Sandi



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BabyRider
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My wife is a survivor

Post by BabyRider »

Hey Campdog. It surprises me that you would think you'd get yelled at or banned from here for asking for help in an "Ask for help" forum. :)

The bosses here aren't like that. You aren't in any danger of getting banned, OR yelled at.

Have you thought about counseling all on your own? Perhaps a therapist knows of some such group and can put you on the right track.

My husband is an abuse survivor. From his mother, his step-father and an uncle. It made him who he is now, in some aspects and who he is now is a wonderful, caring, attentive, loving partner. He has had some closure with the uncle and has simply cut out his mother and step father from his life, like you would cancer.

If nothing else, coming here and talking should help you. There's lots of great minds here and we are a very protective, supportive kind of group. Get involved here, I think you will find it a great escape and a great comfort. Lots of folks here go through the same things you're talking about.

Welcome to FG. :yh_peace
[FONT=Arial Black]I hope you cherish this sweet way of life, and I hope you know that it comes with a price.
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[/FONT]










Bullet's trial was a farce. Can I get an AMEN?????


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campdog
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My wife is a survivor

Post by campdog »

I have been attending individual counseling for the last three years. It helped me deal with my own abuse issues (physical and emotional not sexual) and my counselor credits my progress with being the reason that my wife decided to stay in the marriage rather than leave it for her lover. My counselor does not know of any support resources for the partners of abuse survivors. In my experience there aren't any.

My question to you ma'am is how long did it take your husband to heal? My wife and I have been dealing with the effects of her abuse since we've been together without knowing about the abuse. It is more difficult now than it was a year ago when she recovered her memories.
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BabyRider
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My wife is a survivor

Post by BabyRider »

campdog wrote: I have been attending individual counseling for the last three years. It helped me deal with my own abuse issues (physical and emotional not sexual) and my counselor credits my progress with being the reason that my wife decided to stay in the marriage rather than leave it for her lover.



My question to you ma'am is how long did it take your husband to heal? My wife and I have been dealing with the effects of her abuse since we've been together without knowing about the abuse. It is more difficult now than it was a year ago when she recovered her memories.
How long did it take? It's still ongoing. The abuse he suffered from his uncle was sexual, his mother and step-father did not want to believe. The abuse from his mother and step father was physical, mental and emotional. He tried, 2 Thanksgivings ago, to rekindle ties with his mother. It was a disaster. She is a sick, twisted, cruel, mean-spirited woman who blames him for ruining her childhood, when SHE was the one who went out and got pregnant at 17. She's a lost cause.

It still messes with his mind, although he hides it very well, that his mother is the sick bitch that she is.

Now that your wife has recovered her memories, it is going to be a long hard road for you. Things like this do not heal themselves over night and sometimes, never do. It's all up to the people involved. Do they want to continue being a victim, or do they want to move forward, and heal, and beat this thing?

I give you SO much credit for being able to talk about it and for seeking help, even if it's just here, where you can exchange real-life experience with real people. I do believe you've found the best place on the web to do that. We have people from all walks of life here, who have suffered all kinds of horrendous things. We support each other in a way I have never seen on any other forum. We are an extended family, and I hope you stay and take advantage of the help, and support that you can find here.

And by the way, when you say "ma'am" I look around for my mother. It's BR, or Criss. :yh_bigsmi

Stick around campdog. You will not regret it for a second. :yh_hugs
[FONT=Arial Black]I hope you cherish this sweet way of life, and I hope you know that it comes with a price.
~Darrel Worley~
[/FONT]










Bullet's trial was a farce. Can I get an AMEN?????


We won't be punished for our sins, but BY them.




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LilacDragon
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My wife is a survivor

Post by LilacDragon »

BR is right. Most of the healing has to do with attitude. A certain part of it has to do with the attitude of the abuser.

It is 25+ years since the last time my father touched me. For the most part, I am fine and relatively healthy. But some days a touch or a word will bring back a flood of memories. As I get older, I find that those days are fewer and further apart.
Sandi



campdog
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My wife is a survivor

Post by campdog »

Babyrider, I understand. I did not mean to imply that either of our partners were pursuing a goal that had a definite end. We all are the sum of our experiences and the road never ends. I only wanted to know how long it was before you had a place in his life. I do not presently have a place in my wife's life it seems.

Don't take it personally when I call you ma'am. It's an expression of respect slapped into me at an early age. I'm an old fart who faces permanent scrambling rather than road rash if I take it over the high side. BR it is and thank you.

Lilac, I'm sorry the monsters got you. You are brave and beautiful by definition. They won't get my kids if I'm alive so that's something, no? Would your husband be interested in joining this dialogue?

I just don't understand why my wife isolates herself the way she does and pushes me away. I have read the descriptions in the literature of these sorts of coping mechanisms and I am seeing them in action first hand. Both my wife and I recognize that such behavior has destroyed our relationship and screwed up her life in general. Why then is it impossible for her to reach out and take the love and support that she has so achingly yearned for all these years? She says she is trying but I see no evidence of her coming out of herself at all. I could do this forever if I thought it would rebuild our relationship but all she says is that she cannot feel for me the way a wife feels for a husband. It feels like the end but it's so hard to leave the life we have built together.
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BabyRider
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Post by BabyRider »

campdog wrote: Babyrider, I understand. I did not mean to imply that either of our partners were pursuing a goal that had a definite end. We all are the sum of our experiences and the road never ends. I only wanted to know how long it was before you had a place in his life. I do not presently have a place in my wife's life it seems.

Don't take it personally when I call you ma'am. It's an expression of respect slapped into me at an early age. I'm an old fart who faces permanent scrambling rather than road rash if I take it over the high side. BS it is and thank you.



But, I'm still lost. And hurting.
Well, fortunately for me, I came along after he had come to grips, to a point, with his past. It has popped up again now and then, but nothing like what you're going through right now. A calm, quiet, reassuring presence for your wife is the best advice I can give you. I know it hurts you to see her hurting and neither of you really knowing how to deal with it, but it looks like you are both seeking the help you need. She is seeing a counselor, right?

Time. For both of you. Patience from you, to heal in her own way, in her own time. You want to stay in the marriage, I'm assuming?

I have to leave for work shortly, so if I don't respond to you right away, I will be checking back when I get home.

I don't take it personally about being called "ma'am", it just sounds weird to my ears. :yh_bigsmi
[FONT=Arial Black]I hope you cherish this sweet way of life, and I hope you know that it comes with a price.
~Darrel Worley~
[/FONT]










Bullet's trial was a farce. Can I get an AMEN?????


We won't be punished for our sins, but BY them.




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Nomad
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My wife is a survivor

Post by Nomad »

I have a friend that went through the very same thing a few yrs ago. It wasnt just about her, it really shook him to the bone because she changed. Drastically, and fast, like overnight. He did the right thing by talking to people, friends mainly. He talked a lot, and he listened and he asked questions. I still remember the look on his face, he was devastated because she was cutting him out, she had to go through what she had to go through on her own I guess. It wasnt until much later that she was able to let him really be a part of what she was going through.

I dont really have an answer for you except to say keep talking. If you love your wife and value the time invested in your marriage, then work harder and keep talking.
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campdog
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Post by campdog »

I missed it that you had to go to a second page to see additional replies so I edited my last post. I took out the part where I said I hurt because it sounded maudlin to me. I guess I'm in a different frame of mind today. I added;

I just don't understand why my wife isolates herself the way she does and pushes me away. I have read the descriptions in the literature of these sorts of coping mechanisms and I am seeing them in action first hand. Both my wife and I recognize that such behavior has destroyed our relationship and screwed up her life in general. Why then is it impossible for her to reach out and take the love and support that she has so achingly yearned for all these years? She says she is trying but I see no evidence of her coming out of herself at all. I could do this forever if I thought it would rebuild our relationship but all she says is that she cannot feel for me the way a wife feels for a husband. It feels like the end but it's so hard to leave the life we have built together.


To those who said to talk I can only say I would love it if my wife talked to me but she won't, literally. Not only won't she talk to me but if I talk to her too much it will trigger rage. When I allow it we will sit in silence for hours. If I ask what she's thinking the reply is always "nothing". I know I have to respect her feelings but how can there be a relationship without any communication? Over the last few months she has told me when she is having a flashback or episode but really all you have to do is look at her to know how she's feeling. She won't reply if I ask questions or try to start a dialogue. If I ask how she's feeling at such times she either says 'bad' or "I don't want to talk". To add to the problem my wife comes from a culture where anger is the only emotion people are allowed to express freely.

My counselor says that everyone must work through their abuse in their own way and that's true. But I can't help taking it personally when I am cut so completely out of my wife's life. Without communication how do I know if my wife truly can't stand me or if it's only an abuse coping mechanism? How do I remain in a marriage where all my own personal needs are admittedly ignored by my spouse and my only duty is to endure the unendurable indefinately? How did any of you do it, if you did? What was the outcome?

flop, no need to apologise. I take no offense at any well intentioned input and I certainly didn't get the impression that you said what you did just to make me feel bad. Besides, it sounded like you were speaking from personal experience and that is precisely what I came here seeking. I give everyone leave to give me a wake up smack in the face if it looks like I need one. I'm a big boy and my feelings are not easily bruised. OK?
campdog
campdog
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Post by campdog »

flop, it sounds as if you're saying that you are a survivor so I'll answer as if you were. I am so happy for you that you speak from such a position of power. Your words are true and self evident. You speak not as a survivor but a thriver! But realize that if my wife were in the same place or even seemed to be headed for that place I would not be posting here.

I support my wife but I do not enable her. And yes, you are 100% correct, I am also a victim of the creature who abused my beloved when she was a child. My situation is what it is and we both are doing our best to deal with it. What I am desperately hoping for by posting here is to hear from others who have loved a survivor in recovery. Not that other comments aren't welcome, quite the contrary. It's just that I'm suffering an acute crisis of courage and the will to go on in this relationship. I am just about out of hope for the future. It was my thought that by having a dialogue with others who have been in similar situations that I might find something to pin some hope on. There just are no resources for the support of partners of survivors.

flop's last comment is also self evidently true. Of course I am entitled to live but the life I have chosen is that of wife and family. THIS wife and family. If I am to lose that it won't be because I gave up on it. I want to go down swinging. Does that make sense?
campdog
Spit tune
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Post by Spit tune »

I've been married 30 years. She told me 3 years ago about her child sexual abuse. Our marriage has been bad. She cannot be intimate, meaning sharing hopes, dreams, etc. We could make love half the night and then the next morning she pushed me away. She cannot make a decision. She stuffs our disagreements so nothing ever gets resolved and so much resentment has built up that we can hardly communicate. She has a fear of being controlled. In our younger married years prior to knowing about her childhood sexual abuse, out of total frustration trying figure out what was wrong, I verbally and on few occasions physically abused her. I know this is not excusable but I was totally frustrated. Now I feel depressed and do not believe this marriage is salvageable.

I return home from work and she looks at me like as if she hates me.
koan
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My wife is a survivor

Post by koan »

30 years is a long time to spend with someone in a bad marriage. After that much time there could be more than just her past issues. I'd do an inventory of what you loved about her, because there must have been something, then assess if those things are still existing. If you are staying just because you feel guilty leaving that's not doing either of you any favours. I'd ask her if she hates you as much as you think and give her a chance to express her opinions on the matter, then tell her that you're ready to call it off and see if that's what she wants. It's a starting point to making it clear how much you need things to change.

I don't know her side of the story but whatever it is, I'm sure you'd both benefit from having "this is the end" spoken out loud.
Spit tune
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Post by Spit tune »

Koan

Thanks for taking time to reply. You are right, that conversation needs to be had.
Spit tune
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Post by Spit tune »

Well put.
koan
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Post by koan »

Have you talked about it yet?
Spit tune
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Post by Spit tune »

I have not talked to her yet. Waiting for the Right time.
koan
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Post by koan »

I doubt there is ever a right time. I've known a bunch of survivors and am one myself. I'll talk about anything any time, others will never have a right time. She either wants to know or she doesn't. I think it's pretty clear you're at the end. You can stay there forever and talk yourself out of it because you don't know how much life you have left or you can do something that gives you both a choice for another life. Maybe that life is together but the longer you wait the longer you put off living.
Spit tune
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Post by Spit tune »

I can certainly understand wanting to leave her! Especially if she doesn't understand how her CSA affected the marriage and if she not willing to go to counseling..

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