Desperately need to connect with other men

Mikebearmd

Registrant
I’m a gay, male, abuse survivor. I’m 58 and married to a very good man. We’ve been together for 25 years. I have quite a few close male friends that I’m emotionally intimate with. But I feel a constant need to connect more and deeper with men. I have what would be considered an attachment disorder I think. I get very attached to my close male friends and I feel a desperate, constant need to be closer to them...mentally, emotionally and physically (like hugging and cuddling).

But this need is never satisfied. I get some satisfaction from my relationship with my husband but not nearly enough. I get some satisfaction from my relationships with my close male friends but it’s never enough. They all have their own lives and are busy so they’re just not available to connect with me remotely or in person nearly as much as I feel I need.

So, I’m always feeling this desperate need to connect with men and I feel like I never get enough. I have an excellent therapist but he’s only been able to help me so much with this particular issue.

i desperately feel like I need a daddy who will hold me and comfort me and especially hold me while I cry. I do have 3 close male friends who are comfortable holding me like this and comfortable holding me while I cry but because everyone works and has busy schedules I only get to experience this with one of them about twice per month. And it’s just not nearly enough. It just leaves me craving more.

My husband is retired and available all the time and he’ll hold me if I ask him to but it only helps a little. We have a good relationship but he’s never been the type of man who can really meet this need I have. My friends that hug me and hold me meet this need much more but there not available that often.

my therapist says my husband can’t meet these needs of mine as much as I wish he could because he’s just not the type of man the wounded parts of my heart are looking for. They’re looking for closeness with a specific type of man. And my husband just isn’t that type of man.

I’ve also been getting into inner child work and parts work (I have a form of DID) and that helps to a certain extent. I’m very much in communication with my inner child and other inner parts and i work on re parenting and meeting my inner child’s needs and the needs of my other inner parts. But lately my inner child and other younger parts inside really feel the need to be held by men that they trust and who love them and who are the type of man that they feel safe with while crying.

I have one friend especially who helps my inner child in this way but he’s not often available because of his busy work schedule. And I have 2 other friends that help like this to a lesser extent but one is not available except by text because of covid and the other one is actually very loving and caring and sweet and will hold me as much as I want about once every 2 weeks. But my inner child isn’t totally comfortable crying in front of him yet. I’ve never been good at crying in front of other people and the only friend that my inner younger parts are very comfortable crying with and letting feelings out with is only available about once per month.

I’m just not sure where to go from here. I am continuing to get to know my inner child and other inner child parts and doing re-parenting and parts work. And I get a good amount of support from my husband and friends. And my therapist helps a lot. But it really feels like i need another man or men in my life who I can really trust and who can hold me and hug me and especially hold me while I cry. And I feel like I need that on a daily basis. And I have no idea how to make that happen.

it seems like it’s so easy for women in our society to find other women friends who they can cry with and hold and hug but it’s so much harder to find men who are comfortable with this....even gay men.
I’d appreciate any ideas. I might need a really good support group that has no physical intimacy but a lot of mental and emotional connection and support. Or maybe i need to figure out how to heal my inner child more so he’s not so desperate for connection and closeness with men. I just don’t know and I feel so desperate. I feel so lonely for connection with men even though I get a decent amount of it.
 
There actually isn't another man who will be enough to satisfy this need. Your search will ultimately prove futile here as elsewhere in your life. That said, the inner child work you're doing will bear fruit but that is neither simple nor easy to do with sexual trauma in your history. Since you're asking for ideas I'll share a guided meditation I came to while working with a therapist before COVID arrived called The Ideal Parent Protocol. It was developed by Dan Brown who is author of the pre-eminent work on attachment theory titled Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair. Here you go... a YouTube video to lead you through the meditation.

 

Mikebearmd

Registrant
There actually isn't another man who will be enough to satisfy this need. Your search will ultimately prove futile here as elsewhere in your life. That said, the inner child work you're doing will bear fruit but that is neither simple nor easy to do with sexual trauma in your history. Since you're asking for ideas I'll share a guided meditation I came to while working with a therapist before COVID arrived called The Ideal Parent Protocol. It was developed by Dan Brown who is author of the pre-eminent work on attachment theory titled Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair. Here you go... a YouTube video to lead you through the meditation.

Thanks!
 

EQCR

Registrant
I get very attached to my close male friends and I feel a desperate, constant need to be closer to them...mentally, emotionally and physically (like hugging and cuddling).
But, this need is never satisfied.
I get some satisfaction from my relationship with my husband but not nearly enough. I get some satisfaction from my relationships with my close male friends but it’s never enough. They all have their own lives and are busy so they’re just not available to connect with me nearly as much as I feel I need.
So, I’m always feeling this desperate need to connect with men and I feel like I never get enough. I have an excellent therapist but he’s only been able to help me so much with this particular issue.
I desperately feel like I need a daddy who will hold me and comfort me and especially hold me while I cry.

I would challenge you on this, because I was challenged on this exact same issue. I would like you to ask the men who have supported you what they feel (about themselves) when they hug you. How does it feel to be a powerful, supportive, loving man hugging another man? And then, hug them. Give back to them. Give them your power and support and love. Bless them with the gifts you have to offer. Allow yourself to feel what it feels like to be a strong, loving, compassionate man.

All my life I felt like there was a giant bottomless hole in the center of me that could never be filled, it felt weak and black, filled with a sick needy sadness and despair. When I was given the chance to experience the opposite of that, to be asked to give the hug instead of receive the hug I started to feel the powerful connection of a wholehearted hug in a different way.
I want that for you too.
 

davids1

Registrant
I have done some inner child work also. I didn't really have anyone tell me what or how to do it. When I got clean and sober, I would mediate at night because I couldn't sleep. I would envision me holding that little boy that was me, hugging him, loving him, telling him how wonderful and beautiful he was. At the same time I let the bright light of my Higher Power flow over and through us and heal us both. Sometimes I would watch as my little boy would do somersaults (not allowed at home) in the green field where we sat. He would then come back and sat on my lap again and let me hug him and kiss his head and I would tell him how fantastic he was. I never criticized him once in my meditation, only loved and supported him. I still do that meditation to this day after 27 years in recovery. I get to be the parent to that little boy who so wanted a loving daddy to notice him. Some nights I would Lie in bed hugging myself and give myself out loud verbal encouragement. I would stroke my face gently and lovingly, as I don't remember getting that at home, just lots of slaps across the face. I know it might sound strange, but I had to do whatever I could do to heal my broken spirit. I'm still healing to this day. I'm a work in progress as they say. Maybe you can hug your little boy. In the 12-step program I get lots of hugs and I get to give lots of hugs, good warm (non-sexual) bear hugs. Good luck in your journey.
 
Beautiful David... you may not have known how to care for your inner child when you started but you did an amazing job. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing that.
 

Mikebearmd

Registrant
I would challenge you on this, because I was challenged on this exact same issue. I would like you to ask the men who have supported you what they feel (about themselves) when they hug you. How does it feel to be a powerful, supportive, loving man hugging another man? And then, hug them. Give back to them. Give them your power and support and love. Bless them with the gifts you have to offer. Allow yourself to feel what it feels like to be a strong, loving, compassionate man.

All my life I felt like there was a giant bottomless hole in the center of me that could never be filled, it felt weak and black, filled with a sick needy sadness and despair. When I was given the chance to experience the opposite of that, to be asked to give the hug instead of receive the hug I started to feel the powerful connection of a wholehearted hug in a different way.
I want that for you too.

hi. I appreciate your response. But I do that already and do find it quite powerful.
 

OnceInnocent

Registrant
I’m a gay, male, abuse survivor. I’m 58 and married to a very good man. We’ve been together for 25 years. I have quite a few close male friends that I’m emotionally intimate with. But I feel a constant need to connect more and deeper with men. I have what would be considered an attachment disorder I think. I get very attached to my close male friends and I feel a desperate, constant need to be closer to them...mentally, emotionally and physically (like hugging and cuddling).

But this need is never satisfied. I get some satisfaction from my relationship with my husband but not nearly enough. I get some satisfaction from my relationships with my close male friends but it’s never enough. They all have their own lives and are busy so they’re just not available to connect with me remotely or in person nearly as much as I feel I need.

So, I’m always feeling this desperate need to connect with men and I feel like I never get enough. I have an excellent therapist but he’s only been able to help me so much with this particular issue.

i desperately feel like I need a daddy who will hold me and comfort me and especially hold me while I cry. I do have 3 close male friends who are comfortable holding me like this and comfortable holding me while I cry but because everyone works and has busy schedules I only get to experience this with one of them about twice per month. And it’s just not nearly enough. It just leaves me craving more.

My husband is retired and available all the time and he’ll hold me if I ask him to but it only helps a little. We have a good relationship but he’s never been the type of man who can really meet this need I have. My friends that hug me and hold me meet this need much more but there not available that often.

my therapist says my husband can’t meet these needs of mine as much as I wish he could because he’s just not the type of man the wounded parts of my heart are looking for. They’re looking for closeness with a specific type of man. And my husband just isn’t that type of man.

I’ve also been getting into inner child work and parts work (I have a form of DID) and that helps to a certain extent. I’m very much in communication with my inner child and other inner parts and i work on re parenting and meeting my inner child’s needs and the needs of my other inner parts. But lately my inner child and other younger parts inside really feel the need to be held by men that they trust and who love them and who are the type of man that they feel safe with while crying.

I have one friend especially who helps my inner child in this way but he’s not often available because of his busy work schedule. And I have 2 other friends that help like this to a lesser extent but one is not available except by text because of covid and the other one is actually very loving and caring and sweet and will hold me as much as I want about once every 2 weeks. But my inner child isn’t totally comfortable crying in front of him yet. I’ve never been good at crying in front of other people and the only friend that my inner younger parts are very comfortable crying with and letting feelings out with is only available about once per month.

I’m just not sure where to go from here. I am continuing to get to know my inner child and other inner child parts and doing re-parenting and parts work. And I get a good amount of support from my husband and friends. And my therapist helps a lot. But it really feels like i need another man or men in my life who I can really trust and who can hold me and hug me and especially hold me while I cry. And I feel like I need that on a daily basis. And I have no idea how to make that happen.

it seems like it’s so easy for women in our society to find other women friends who they can cry with and hold and hug but it’s so much harder to find men who are comfortable with this....even gay men.
I’d appreciate any ideas. I might need a really good support group that has no physical intimacy but a lot of mental and emotional connection and support. Or maybe i need to figure out how to heal my inner child more so he’s not so desperate for connection and closeness with men. I just don’t know and I feel so desperate. I feel so lonely for connection with men even though I get a decent amount of it.

Hey dude!
What a great topic and what a topic to live and suffer through.

For most of my life, I craved male attention, like as a protector. Many times I successfully set situations up like that, only for the man to abuse me. as a result I was prone to pushing men away, even though I wanted and needed the attention and comfort, because I wanted to protect myself and that desire to be safe overrode my desire for physical reassurance.

The ONLY thing that worked and still works that involves another man is talking to my T. I can cry in front of him and tell him how I feel. He is always affirming and kind. I never thought I'd have a relationship like that bc this guy is a real human he's not some dude who has been in the field for so long, he doesn't care. He's also totally someone I would want to be friends with in "real life" and he's told me the same thing. Its taken a long time to accept that I am really a human in the same way other men are. That I'm worthy to be loved and can believe that I am likeable.

A few times when I was really flipping out, he did "touch control" either with a side hug or by touching my knee. He very professionally asked if it was ok to sit down next to me and then if it was ok for him to initiate physical contact. He waited for me to say if it was ok. When he did, I blew up with tears. But they were finally good tears. Not tears of being a lonely, scared kid inside still needing someone to rescue me. They were tears like when a child has been missing and they are reunited with their parent, tears of joy. It was like I finally found out what it was like to be whole.

To have non-sexual touch is so healing. and you are right, as guys we have very little outlet for that.
You said your "therapist helps a lot. but..." I can totally relate. I had a long succession of therapists that weren't what I needed in that regard.
I do know that, if my therapist didn't do this as well as a lot of other forms of therapy, I would be able to find one who does. There's an entire profession for folks that do what's called Somatic therapy. A dude here on MS suggested it. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/somatic-therapy is a great place to start. even in the small city I live outside of, I was able to find a few male therapists.

I hope that helps. I can absolutely concur with the other guys, that seeking out multiple people for physical touch can be very problematic. A lot of people have a very hard time separating physical touch, sex, feelings of worth, abuse, love from one another. I know I did and still do at times. That's why I like Somatic therapy, because its professional, safe, and you can actually discuss what you are feeling and parse it out with the therapist before, during and after the touch happens.

Good luck. I know you will make a great decision and have amazing results!
 

Dan99

Registrant
I'm exactly the opposite. Can't stand hugging. Someone touching me was almost always a bad thing as a child.

I have one memory of being a very small boy, probably five. My father, who died when I was 6, came into my bedroom Christmas eve because I was having trouble getting to sleep. Excitement about presents, etc. He talked with me for a moment or two and then got up to leave and gave me a boop on the nose with his index finger and told me gently to get some sleep.

It's the only memory I have from childhood of touch being a positive thing. I have been told of the value of hugging and affectionate, non-sexual physical contact. I can understand it intellectually. But I've never been able to feel it. Anyway, good luck in your journey and thanks for sharing.
 

Mikebearmd

Registrant
I'm exactly the opposite. Can't stand hugging. Someone touching me was almost always a bad thing as a child.

I have one memory of being a very small boy, probably five. My father, who died when I was 6, came into my bedroom Christmas eve because I was having trouble getting to sleep. Excitement about presents, etc. He talked with me for a moment or two and then got up to leave and gave me a boop on the nose with his index finger and told me gently to get some sleep.

It's the only memory I have from childhood of touch being a positive thing. I have been told of the value of hugging and affectionate, non-sexual physical contact. I can understand it intellectually. But I've never been able to feel it. Anyway, good luck in your journey and thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing your experience. Everyone has different experiences it seems.
 

The Bluefoot

Registrant
Hugging hummm. My parents told me I had tactile defenses and did not want to be touched at all. After being abuse from ages 6 to 17 The tactile defenses got much worst. Unless I was forced to hug or kiss. Made dating difficult in life. But once I meet my husband he force hugging on me and made me like it I over came my tactile defenses to him and then to my son we adopted. As time went on I got more at ease with hugging. The point I am trying to make is boys who were abused go one way or or an other and they go all in never half way. All touch or no touch. You want all touch. You feel very comfortable being touch specially when crying and letting out the feelings of your pain, which is good.

Not sure where you live but willing to chat with you about hugging if that helps and see where it goes. You gave me an idea for a new business or a for a Therapist to start a hugging center not sure how that would work but I work on it. or maybe group therapy for huggers. Specially after everyone is vaccinated and covid is mostly over. There is hope and help for you. if you want to talk let me know.
 

happyjohnn

Registrant
I’m a gay, male, abuse survivor. I’m 58 and married to a very good man. We’ve been together for 25 years. I have quite a few close male friends that I’m emotionally intimate with. But I feel a constant need to connect more and deeper with men. I have what would be considered an attachment disorder I think. I get very attached to my close male friends and I feel a desperate, constant need to be closer to them...mentally, emotionally and physically (like hugging and cuddling).

But this need is never satisfied. I get some satisfaction from my relationship with my husband but not nearly enough. I get some satisfaction from my relationships with my close male friends but it’s never enough. They all have their own lives and are busy so they’re just not available to connect with me remotely or in person nearly as much as I feel I need.

So, I’m always feeling this desperate need to connect with men and I feel like I never get enough. I have an excellent therapist but he’s only been able to help me so much with this particular issue.

i desperately feel like I need a daddy who will hold me and comfort me and especially hold me while I cry. I do have 3 close male friends who are comfortable holding me like this and comfortable holding me while I cry but because everyone works and has busy schedules I only get to experience this with one of them about twice per month. And it’s just not nearly enough. It just leaves me craving more.

My husband is retired and available all the time and he’ll hold me if I ask him to but it only helps a little. We have a good relationship but he’s never been the type of man who can really meet this need I have. My friends that hug me and hold me meet this need much more but there not available that often.

my therapist says my husband can’t meet these needs of mine as much as I wish he could because he’s just not the type of man the wounded parts of my heart are looking for. They’re looking for closeness with a specific type of man. And my husband just isn’t that type of man.

I’ve also been getting into inner child work and parts work (I have a form of DID) and that helps to a certain extent. I’m very much in communication with my inner child and other inner parts and i work on re parenting and meeting my inner child’s needs and the needs of my other inner parts. But lately my inner child and other younger parts inside really feel the need to be held by men that they trust and who love them and who are the type of man that they feel safe with while crying.

I have one friend especially who helps my inner child in this way but he’s not often available because of his busy work schedule. And I have 2 other friends that help like this to a lesser extent but one is not available except by text because of covid and the other one is actually very loving and caring and sweet and will hold me as much as I want about once every 2 weeks. But my inner child isn’t totally comfortable crying in front of him yet. I’ve never been good at crying in front of other people and the only friend that my inner younger parts are very comfortable crying with and letting feelings out with is only available about once per month.

I’m just not sure where to go from here. I am continuing to get to know my inner child and other inner child parts and doing re-parenting and parts work. And I get a good amount of support from my husband and friends. And my therapist helps a lot. But it really feels like i need another man or men in my life who I can really trust and who can hold me and hug me and especially hold me while I cry. And I feel like I need that on a daily basis. And I have no idea how to make that happen.

it seems like it’s so easy for women in our society to find other women friends who they can cry with and hold and hug but it’s so much harder to find men who are comfortable with this....even gay men.
I’d appreciate any ideas. I might need a really good support group that has no physical intimacy but a lot of mental and emotional connection and support. Or maybe i need to figure out how to heal my inner child more so he’s not so desperate for connection and closeness with men. I just don’t know and I feel so desperate. I feel so lonely for connection with men even though I get a decent amount of it.
I feel your struggle if you lived near me i would hold you and let you cry often it is a huge need with survivors to be held nd comforted. you can reach out to me anytime and i will do what i can over he internet to help you feel hugged and held and safe
 

SpireaX

Registrant
There actually isn't another man who will be enough to satisfy this need. Your search will ultimately prove futile here as elsewhere in your life. That said, the inner child work you're doing will bear fruit but that is neither simple nor easy to do with sexual trauma in your history. Since you're asking for ideas I'll share a guided meditation I came to while working with a therapist before COVID arrived called The Ideal Parent Protocol. It was developed by Dan Brown who is author of the pre-eminent work on attachment theory titled Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair. Here you go... a YouTube video to lead you through the meditation.

thank you. I'm just looking for clarity and I'm glad I came across this thread.
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
I have done some inner child work also. I didn't really have anyone tell me what or how to do it. When I got clean and sober, I would mediate at night because I couldn't sleep. I would envision me holding that little boy that was me, hugging him, loving him, telling him how wonderful and beautiful he was. At the same time I let the bright light of my Higher Power flow over and through us and heal us both. Sometimes I would watch as my little boy would do somersaults (not allowed at home) in the green field where we sat. He would then come back and sat on my lap again and let me hug him and kiss his head and I would tell him how fantastic he was. I never criticized him once in my meditation, only loved and supported him. I still do that meditation to this day after 27 years in recovery. I get to be the parent to that little boy who so wanted a loving daddy to notice him. Some nights I would Lie in bed hugging myself and give myself out loud verbal encouragement. I would stroke my face gently and lovingly, as I don't remember getting that at home, just lots of slaps across the face. I know it might sound strange, but I had to do whatever I could do to heal my broken spirit. I'm still healing to this day. I'm a work in progress as they say. Maybe you can hug your little boy. In the 12-step program I get lots of hugs and I get to give lots of hugs, good warm (non-sexual) bear hugs. Good luck in your journey.
Dude - this is an awesome post. And it's so cool you found your way to this on your own. I'm not sure there is anything more powerful for healing than getting to this place. I've just entered that meadow you described to try having conversation with that boy I was. I will probably carry this picture with me into my next real attempt to connect with him. Thank you @davids1.
 
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