"Acting out" again *trigger*

HealingHope

Registrant
Hi Nicole
I realise now my suggestion to ask your husband about how he may be feeling goes against the way you’ve both journeyed through everything, thank you for sharing. Keep talking. This truly is a very special place. Blessings HH
 

RJrj

Registrant
I say this with all respect but,

You need Al-Anon. You can't save him. You can't fix him. All you can do is save yourself and your children and let him figure this out, all by himself. He's a grown man.

Frankly, you walking out would be his "wake up call" to get back in therapy and make "healing" a priority. What does it say about YOU, that you would spend the the last 10 years completely miserable? Nothing has changed and the future doesn't look good. You can love him; you can support him; but sometimes you have to do that from a distance. It's call self-preservation. This sounds truly toxic for you and your kids.

(Just as a side note: I find one thing a little concerning... You wrote:

"Next was therapy and MS where he was advised to talk to people with similar experiences, not such a great idea to burden the wife."

I would be completely mortified if I knew that my spouse was here reading the stuff that I posted. That's like you taking him to a therapy session and when he went in to meet with his therapist, you put your ear to the door and eavesdropped. Him knowing you are here is a sure way to keep him from coming to MS.)

Overcoming CSA is not a couples therapy thing. It's an individual thing. Couples therapy is couples therapy. I know you're desperate and you want to understand him, but you're never going to achieve your goal doing it this way. You're looking for simple answers to complex questions. If any of us here had the answers, we wouldn't be here. CSA is more complex when you add addiction (substances, sex, porn). I would suggest a Psychiatrist instead of a therapist. Meds can help stablize brain chemistry which can lessen his impulses. He's dealing with a lot. He's done AA, and therapy for CSA, and he's actively using (?) AND he's acting out? Phew.

Step One: You need to set up healthy boundaries and that's what Al-Anon will help you do.

Step Two: Find a therapist for yourself. You need your own support system, which doesn't involve him so you can get some clarity.

You've gotten alot of good advice in this thread from all these members, so my advice may throw a wrench in the consensus. But full disclosure: I don't have a spouse or significant other, so I see things more from a "tough love" point-of-view. You can't push him into the light. He has to find it on his own.

One thing's for sure, you both deserve better than the hands that you've each been dealt.

Good Luck, Nicole.
 

mmfan

Registrant
I can imagine it would be painful and bewildering to go from being"his person" to being shut out emotionally for 10 years. It sounds self-destructive to me and I can't really imagine the men here on MS encouraging him to isolate himself from a supportive loving wife. That sounds like an excuse to me, to avoid intimacy. In failing to enlist you as an ally, he will miss huge opportunities to heal - like learning how to have real healthy intimacy which is pretty hard to learn divorced and having random encounters in public restrooms.

He does not sound committed to health, functionality, and healing at this time of his life. That is unfortunately the path that some survivors have to walk before they can break out and there isn't much we supporters can do except honor our own boundaries.

It must be a very bitter pill, to discover that while you were supporting him and yearning for emotional intimacy, his needs (unhealthy as they are, as it soundds almost like a compulsion) were being met elsewhere.

My survivor and I would not have made it this far without trust, open communication, and commitment on both sides to functionality and healing. We are both honest with ourselves and no longer in the denial stage, no addictions or other unhealthy coping strategies. That is why it works for us. And it is still HARD.
 
I would be completely mortified if I knew that my spouse was here reading the stuff that I posted. That's like you taking him to a therapy session and when he went in to meet with his therapist, you put your ear to the door and eavesdropped. Him knowing you are here is a sure way to keep him from coming to MS.)
OMG I think both my wife and I would be devastated. It’s not that hard to figure out who my username is if you know me personally.

Things I’ve discussed on here are not how I feel ALL the time. Sometimes it’s a personal crisis.

But there is also a sense of, if you go through someone’s personal thoughts you are going to find something to upset you...
 

Nicole

Registrant
Rjrj and SDD757,
When did I ever say I read his posts?? I have no idea if he has ever posted anything on here.
 
Rjrj and SDD757,
When did I ever say I read his posts?? I have no idea if he has ever posted anything on here.
Sorry I was responding to RJrj...

But, I don’t know if you have or not. I do support you being here and doing what ever it takes for you to remain safe from your husband’s behavior. Again, physically and emotionally. I’m sorry you are going through this. Take care...
 
I'm new to this conversation Nicole but I'm a survivor with a long history of broken relationships, none of which involved me telling about the past abuse, in part because I didn't realize it happened until into my FOURTH marriage. My acting out was hidden, but needless to say my excursions into some of the territory you find repugnant came from my deep seated fear of intimacy and dissociation I didn't understand at all. You see I wanted to be held, to be loved unconditionally, something that goes back to a damaged childhood, but I've been so frightened of vulnerability that I could never really open myself to a partner.

It seems you have a pretty deep understanding of this after decades of experience with your husband and time spent here with other survivors. I'm amazed you've been able to hang in as long as you have. I'm still dancing with my last wife, from whom I've been divorced for 22 years but we neither live together nor have a sexual relationship. We've shared much in the 30 plus years we've known each other, but it is really only recently that I've been unpacking the deepest wounds from the past. She has insisted that we take a step back from the closer place we'd come to over the last few years, in part because she asked and I told her everything about my acting out behavior. Although I told her an outline before we were married and much of that is very old, it still troubled her. I have to say I understand... it troubles me as well, though blessedly I've not acted out in over eight months. The more serious behaviors haven't been part of my life for decades.

Brennan recommends a powerful book that I read only recently, The Body Keeps the Score. That contributed to my returning to therapy and this time I'm working with a somatically trained therapist since the body does hold the residue of abuse which your husband is acting out at the moment. I have to wonder at the the therapy he is doing since this acting out has continued for so long. It is hard to heal when we continue behavior that produces shame. A somatic therapist encourages a client to be with the sensations in his body that develop before the acting out begins so he can delve into the memories associated with the feelings... doubtless things your husband shared in his early disclosures with you.

I know you've come here to learn more, no doubt hoping that with more understanding you can offer better support to your husband. I hope that at the same time you're finding support for yourself since it would be a shame if you fell victim to the abuse your husband seems unable to move beyond. Perhaps some clear boundaries on your part would help you both. But how you proceed will consider a great many things we don't understand. This is for you to work through with your therapist, a clergyman, a support group. I wish you both well. This is painful to hold.
 
I spoke with my friend/former wife a moment ago and mentioned my post on this thread. She has been seeing what she describes as a trained "partner betrayal therapist" who recommended two books that have helped her immensely. She encouraged me to pass them along to you...

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse

Intimate Deception

She wishes you the best, as do we all.
 

KMCINVA

Registrant
It is a challenging subject to actually nail down and define as it is different for all who experience it. Disassociation can run from simple "tuning out" or wandering off in the brain to an outright fugue state where you can wake up months later across the country as a street person and find out you have been fully living an entirely different character since the fugue began. It is a coping strategy ultimately so the level to which you go is ultimately dependent upon so many factors surrounding the trauma that causes it and each individuals level of resilience when encountering these traumas. I know for myself I was present and capable but I just wasn't thinking and connected there was no association between my actions and their possible outcomes and ramifications. I was not consciously choosing things, I was in autopilot. This is incredibly difficult for partners to deal with, mine, you and all the countless others are saints walking among us. I certainly can't advise you as to what you can or should tolerate within your own relationship, and I cannot evaluate the actions of your partner nor his motivations. If I am correct though I would imagine it useful to try to wrap your brain around this not being of his choosing, that doesn't excuse it but goes a ways to explaining it. To try to understand it as a symptom of the damage rather than a willfully damaging action.
I relate to the words you wrote. I could disconnect on a dime--stress, taunts, physical attacks and I would just leave. For these events were triggers to me, sending off the memories and shooting the pain and hurt of the abuse into my heart. I needed to escape. I had been doing it a lifetime. Generally short periods of time until about 15 to 20 years ago, the lapses increased in time, finding myself in strange places not knowing where or what happened. It was scaring but in time I just thought it was something everyone experienced. I found myself in the city, trying to remember the last thing I could remember to find my car or to find a way back. Other times, no memory of how I traveled 25 miles and wandered the streets for several days. Where did I sleep, what did I do. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with dissociative fugues. I work hard today not to dissociate and I came to learn my first episodes were when the abuse began. I remember feeling as though I was looking down at me, but it was not me being abused. I separated to cope. I gather I used this technique, mastering over a lifetime.

As the fugues became more frequent the more scared I became. I was warned my living environment was a cause and I should leave. I did not and when I finally did life very slowly began to improve. I had episodes with less frequency and duration. I was not being triggered, I was finding love. I struggled as I tried to learn to cope in healthy ways. I suffered depression and had thoughts life would be better if I was not here. One attempt and I guess it was a cry for help. Depression came because I was not running into the fugues, I was trying to face all that happened and fears that happened when I was disconnected from myself. I will never the latter and maybe that is for the best.

Dissociation kept me alive but it did not allow me to live. Nicole I was the only one who could change my life. I grabbed the love and support that was around me slowly, it was a new environment and I had fears from I lived in the past. I could not allow it to reoccur. You have been there and the people I came to know were here for me, they stood by, smiled, hugged, searched for me when I would disappear. In the end I had to grab their words and love. I finally did and I am relatively dissociative free--I can find myself beginning to wander and I can pull my mind back before it goes to far. You have been through much, you have given much and it is time for him to take control and realize he has love and support. Will he ever, I cannot answer. You need to live and not subject yourself to any more pain.

Kevin
 

Nicole

Registrant
I spoke with my friend/former wife a moment ago and mentioned my post on this thread. She has been seeing what she describes as a trained "partner betrayal therapist" who recommended two books that have helped her immensely. She encouraged me to pass them along to you...

Your Sexually Addicted Spouse

Intimate Deception

She wishes you the best, as do we all.
Great, I'll find these, please thank her for the suggestions.

Also, somatic therapy sounds very interesting, I've never heard of it before, so I googled the closest therapist and it's about 3 hours away. That is a problem he, I, we have run into since day one. There are no qualified therapist's around here, which surprises me because I think we live in a pretty progressive area. The one we called that is in the MS directory asked how we heard about him and acted surprised, asked "what is MS"? He was somewhat helpful for awhile I guess, I mean they could have been talking about baseball for an hour for all I know. And then he stopped going.

I'm getting these books!
 
He risks EVERYTHING and his mental health is going to be the next casuality when he realizes what he's done to himself.
I think the boat already left the dock here. His mental health is out of control. I started to act out looking for more of what had been happening to me as a child and continued into my 30's. I stopped acting out then but it has been in my head each and everyday. I think it is a primal response to abuse that we never had a name for or knew what it was when it began for a lot of us. Some of us were so badly groomed we would have done anything for our abusers attention.
I remember as a drug addicted street kid getting into strangers cars and then nothing. I have no Idea what happened in those car's that has been describe to me as dissociation. I do know what happened was nothing about me, I was vulnerable and taken advantage of by those who I got into their cars took full advantage of the situation.

There has been many good responses. I am sorry you are at this point.

Take care
Esterio
 
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