Feeling alone in my husbands recovery

Upintheair

Registrant
He’s not yet ready to face his trauma. But it impacts our life together in so many ways and I’m learning more and more now that I know there was sexual abuse in his past. I’m dealing with those impacts, but he is still resistant to even recognize the link to his abuse. My dreams have been put on hold until he can begin processing this trauma and healing.
Until then I feel so very alone. And it feels so unfair. And I question if I want to stick around and keep feeling like my needs are marginalized because he is unwilling to process and heal.
does anyone else feel that way? I have a lot of guilt in feeling this way. It wasn’t his fault he was abused. It’s not his fault he has to deal with all the pain it caused.
i can’t talk to anyone but my therapist, and that just doesn’t seem like enough for me right now. I’m alone and feeling hopeless. Grieving for what I thought my Marriage would be.
 
You'll doubtless hear from some other partners contending with these issues. I know that when I began having my first memories about the sexual abuse I experienced as a boy while doing EMDR therapy, I went to some really dark places. My wife loved me and wanted to support me but I sort of collapsed in on myself and couldn't engage with her. Distance grew and I was lost in memories and distracting myself with pornography. It was really untenable and after about two years of this my wife moved out. One of the issues for her was we were living in a studio cottage and there really wasn't enough space that we could have a bit of distance from each other. She insisted that we find a bigger apartment. I was so taken by the trauma work I was doing that I simply couldn't leave that home. It was the only safe place I had for myself. She moved out and within a year and a half we divorced. The love was still there but I wasn't available for an intimate relationship and she simply couldn't put her life on hold while I tried to work things out. All of that happened 23 years ago and I'm still working through my trauma and still live in that cottage. I realized recently that I've NEVER been relationship material. I was too damaged by the trauma to be honestly available for intimacy. That didn't stop me from marrying four different women... but then I didn't remember the abuse. I thought with the right woman my life would come together. It never did.

I was traumatized by my mother as an infant and then by neighbors when I was a young boy. The combination was devastating for me developmentally. I've no idea what your husband is dealing with but it would be a mistake to underestimate the fragmentation that results from sexual trauma when we're boys. Yes, it can be worked with by both partners but it does require exactly that... work... Grieving what you hoped your marriage would be makes sense. I'm sorry it is so hard. I wish you both well.
 

dext

Registrant
Upintheair I'm sorry you're here going thru this with him.. It's not easy for a man to admit he needs help add abuse to it and it makes it worse.. It makes you/him question everything in your life. And can possibly make you feel like less of a man or why didn't he fight to keep it from happening.. There is a post a couple of spots down in this same part of this forum with stuff that could be going thru his head.. Try reading it if you haven't.. It's A Primer for understanding boys/men and CSA. It could help give you more of what could be going thru his head.. Best of luck.
 

HealingHope

Registrant
He’s not yet ready to face his trauma. But it impacts our life together in so many ways and I’m learning more and more now that I know there was sexual abuse in his past. I’m dealing with those impacts, but he is still resistant to even recognize the link to his abuse. My dreams have been put on hold until he can begin processing this trauma and healing.
Until then I feel so very alone. And it feels so unfair. And I question if I want to stick around and keep feeling like my needs are marginalized because he is unwilling to process and heal.
does anyone else feel that way? I have a lot of guilt in feeling this way. It wasn’t his fault he was abused. It’s not his fault he has to deal with all the pain it caused.
i can’t talk to anyone but my therapist, and that just doesn’t seem like enough for me right now. I’m alone and feeling hopeless. Grieving for what I thought my Marriage would be.

Noticing and honouring that grief is perhaps the place to start with by focusing on your own care while he is on his own journey. What I’ve come to realise as I journey alongside my survivor is he has been a catalyst for my own personal growth. He’s helped me without even realising or meaning to because I came to realise after lots of research and reading and questions answered from survivors here, that the only thing I can truly do is focus on my own side of the journey so that I am not recreating any of the experiences he’s trying to heal from. Of course it is devastating for you to now realise that maybe the dream you had for your relationship isn’t quite as you hoped but if it helps, perhaps the destination hasn’t changed? Just the time it may take and the route to get there will be different. Focus on you and that will heal any aspects that may trip you up along the way. It has for me.
listen to him but never ask, never try to control his healing, and trust his process. He has a formula even if he hasn’t realised it yet. Walk alongside, never lead unless he asks you to. Keep boundaries but be gentle. He needs consistent loving support. Keep an eye on your own triggers and work hard on them. I still catch myself being needy and notice what’s triggered this and it’s always ‘with me’. Do your inner work, own your part. It’s hard of course but for me our relationship has been the greatest gift, but only you can decide if you want to stay the course.
blessings to you both HH
 

Uptoone

Registrant
I wonder how those of us who are"damaged" by abuse find angels to walk along side of us. Giving us an opportunity to take a look into our past. Whether it comes as a result of attempting to maintain an intimate relationship or if it is the result of the questions you present while trying to connect. I am beyond thankful for mine but I want happiness for her more than for myself. Mourning what could have been is difficult. I'm sorry you are experiencing this as much as I am sorry for what my wife has experienced. Love yourself enough to know your boundaries and needs. Express them to him and accept his response.
 

lostatseawithfishes

New Registrant
You posted this several months ago--just one month shy of a year. I wonder how you are and what ended up happening with your marriage.

I am deeply deeply deeply in love with a man who survived CSA and the trauma of it has taken over his body. As if the childhood trauma wasn't enough, for the past several years he has not been able to work because of chronic (unexplainable) pain. Sometimes I wonder if it is the CSA trauma manifesting itself in his body and inflaming his joints with pain.

We are young. He is so beautiful and funny and smart and quick witted and analytical and has this wonderful stubbornness about him that I both love and drives me crazy. But the unexplained chronic pain has put his whole life on pause. We both should be reaching out into the world and trying things that scare us, building a life of both accomplishments and failures (as there is no success without several failures first)--but with a body consumed with pain he is stuck. And if he is stuck, I am stuck as well. I am doing what I can to keep us both ready to move-- trying to keep us limber with all sorts of mental gymnastics and mental strength training for when his body is okay again. But I find myself less and less patient and more and more eager to renter the world.

And it's not just the pain; he is so convinced that his body is disgusting--that his penis is too small--that he cannot get hard enough--that he is too skinny and too fat at the same time-. Our physical intimacy has also been very impacted as well. As you probably gathered--his body is not disgusting, his penis is not small, it has no issues with getting hard, he is not too thin nor is he too fat. But there is no secret incantation of words that I can say that will change his mind about how he sees himself. And watching him loath himself is agony for me.

I also only have my therapist to talk to. And what is true for him is true for me, there are no words that can be said that will ease the weight of watching him battle with himself to survive. I just hope he survives. I just hope he survives. I just hope he survives.

Anyway, I hope you two are working towards becoming your better selves. Together or apart. I hope you both are moving forward and finding ways to love and be gentle with oneself.
 
@lostatseawithfishes I am so sorry for what you are going through. I am sure my wife could relate to much of what you said. The past 18 months have been the hardest of my life: diagnosed with PTSD, depression, debilitating panic attacks, nightmares each night for 6 months, violent intrusive thoughts I was powerless to stop.... My wife has been a rock. Many nights she held me while I sobbed and sat with me as I had a panic attack. Even while she supported me, she was dealing with her own issues about my trauma. Our sex life sucked, her husband was a mess, and she really didn't have anyone to support her through it. It was so difficult for her.

One thing that was helpful for me was that my wife did not stop living her life. Even while she supported me and I was stuck she went on with her life: working, meeting with friends... It was helpful to me to know that I wasn't holding her back.

You are walking a difficult path that neither you or your husband want to be on. But it is the path you and the rest of us here are one. I wish you strength as you continue trying to navigate this.

P.S. unless a guy is hung like a porn star, most guys think they are too small. And I complain about being skinny/fat all the time to my wife. She rolls her eyes.
 

The Bluefoot

Registrant
@lostatseawithfishes , This is a hard thing we are all in trouble with. No one wanted to be here in life like this. Shortly after I meet my husband 21 years ago, he told me he was sexual abuse at the age of 10 by his uncle. It upset me a lot. How coulda family member attack a 10yrat child with a physical disability. My husband was born with Spina Bifida and his been in a wheelchair his whole life. I was the shy one when it came to sex and intimacies. He was patience with me and is the only man I had sex with. I knew what I was getting into or at least I though I did. We been married now 17 years, we became gay activist. worked on marriage equality in our state. I push very hard for equality for gays, handicap people, the homeless teenager. We even adopted a 17yr gay teen from a shelter with a disability. A few years later he told us he was sexual abused, mental abuse and physically abused. Both me and my husband worked on this together. This past summer it hit me like a ton of bricks When my memory of my abuse returned, and my life quickly went down hill. I no longer could be the rock of the family. The last 4 months have been the worst for me. But our love is so strong still I know we will manage this together. @lostatseawithfishes You love is strong you will weather this and it may take years to manage but it is worth it in the long run. Don't stop living you need time to yourself and see the world and have fun . Take your other half with you even he is lost sometimes he still will enjoy what you are doing even if he does not show it as much.

Upintheair
Just be Nightmare's and crying for no reason, and flash backs can be hard to deal with. Sometimes on a day bases, Just hug him and ask how you can help. be there for him. Please don't give up. he need your support. Come here and talk about it. I understand he closed the world off and you in it. Push him to talk about it to a T or come to this forum. Don't be a T for him just be ready to help. Good luck
 
Top