Frustration

Brian76

Registrant
Hey all. I cannot seem to heal in a way that doesn't bring more negativity to my marriage. My wife tells me all I ever talk about anymore is my mental state as I try to get better. I wish I could express how I feel without causing strife.
She is supportive but seems to be growing tired it all. She feels we have no future and most of not all of this is due to my constant tripping up as I try to become an actual functioning adult male in my mid 40s. I don't feel I am very mature as I still feel emotionally still 13 years old. I struggle to find a therapist I feel can address my concerns.
When I am being negative or going on too much about my feelings I cannot seem to stop. I feel like I am inside telling myself to stop but I cannot. I never feel in control of myself. I want happiness for her and myself but don't know how to get there. I hate feeling so helpless to my own brain. Thanks for listening.
 

manipulated

Moderator
Staff member
Brian

Many of us that finally allowed the past to be acknowledged while we were in a relationship found ourselves where you are. And most of us struggled to find a good fit with us, trauma informed T too. I felt totally overwhelmed with the T search but we did try a couples T also... helped maybe a bit but my ex refused to go back to both eventually because they told her she would benefit from finding her own T - in her view our troubles were ALL me and ALL my concentrating on a distant past - she "was not crazy like him". But many guys here have salvaged a relationship after it reached the situation you describe if both parties are willing to get relationship help. Will she go to a couples T? Will you? In my community they were easier to find than a good T informed T.
 

Eric66

Registrant
Brian76. Brother, I’m so sorry that your struggle is so hard. I’m right there with you buddy. And like you, my wife is as supportive as she can be. After working on this struggle for many many years she has finally admitted to me that there’s no way she can understand it but just has to trust that I am doing the best I can. After trying to discuss “therapy“ with her I discovered long ago that it only upsets her… She hates all that I’ve been through and doesn’t want to talk about it. She can’t talk about it. She doesn’t want to know… And, honestly, I don’t blame her in the least. It’s ugly.
Over the years she and I have talked about divorce… Well… Mostly I have done the talking about divorce… Feeling that she would be better off to simply find someone else who could love her the way I think she deserves to be loved. So far, she insists that she is in it for the long-haul and wants to remain together… I’m not so sure it’s the best for her however.
She and I have finally come to an agreement that at times I simply need space… I need to go into the office and sit and cry for a while. She’s learned to leave me alone. Also, after therapy, i hang out for a while and may not come home for a couple of hours. Hanging out after therapy gives me time to journal what has happened during therapy, sit in the car and cry, or just get my mind together before I return home. I always text her right after therapy and tell her that “therapy went OK… I’ll be home in an hour “ otherwise she’s afraid that I am dead on the side of the road somewhere.
Again, Brian, I really feel for you… I’m sorry for your struggle… Things do get better.
As for the search for a therapist… That is grueling isn’t it? All I can say is keep looking until you find the right one. I found mine by searching my ZIP Code on line. Sometimes I wrote more than 20 therapist… To see which ones responded the most quickly… Then I narrowed it down from there. There’s no easy way… But persevere… You will find the right one and they will help you.
 

MO-Survivor

Staff member
Brian76. Brother, I’m so sorry that your struggle is so hard. I’m right there with you buddy. And like you, my wife is as supportive as she can be. After working on this struggle for many many years she has finally admitted to me that there’s no way she can understand it but just has to trust that I am doing the best I can. After trying to discuss “therapy“ with her I discovered long ago that it only upsets her… She hates all that I’ve been through and doesn’t want to talk about it. She can’t talk about it. She doesn’t want to know… And, honestly, I don’t blame her in the least. It’s ugly.
Over the years she and I have talked about divorce… Well… Mostly I have done the talking about divorce… Feeling that she would be better off to simply find someone else who could love her the way I think she deserves to be loved. So far, she insists that she is in it for the long-haul and wants to remain together… I’m not so sure it’s the best for her however.
She and I have finally come to an agreement that at times I simply need space… I need to go into the office and sit and cry for a while. She’s learned to leave me alone. Also, after therapy, i hang out for a while and may not come home for a couple of hours. Hanging out after therapy gives me time to journal what has happened during therapy, sit in the car and cry, or just get my mind together before I return home. I always text her right after therapy and tell her that “therapy went OK… I’ll be home in an hour “ otherwise she’s afraid that I am dead on the side of the road somewhere.
Again, Brian, I really feel for you… I’m sorry for your struggle… Things do get better.
As for the search for a therapist… That is grueling isn’t it? All I can say is keep looking until you find the right one. I found mine by searching my ZIP Code on line. Sometimes I wrote more than 20 therapist… To see which ones responded the most quickly… Then I narrowed it down from there. There’s no easy way… But persevere… You will find the right one and they will help you.
@Eric66, I like your description of how you decompress after a therapy session. That is really important. My T and I talked about that - especially when we had to do Zoom sessions last year. It is so hard to tune into the therapy topics, dive deep in 45 minutes, and then come back up for air and try to re-engage right back with work. I guess my emotional over-regulation (my T's words) does help most of the time, but there are other times it does not. I actually went into my session this week an emotional mess, and came out less so after we talked. I am very thankful for the 30 minute drive to and from each session now to think and decompress a bit.
 

ODAT

Registrant
Brian,
I understand. I’m 65 now. I wish I joined MS at your age. When I joined MS two years ago, I needed help. I was thinking again of acting out with men (which I did in my 20-40’s) and joined MS and wrote my story. I had never told my wife about the men I was with. She read my story and was floored! She didn’t understand that I was re-enacting the abuse at 8. She thought I was bi (I’m not but my erotic template was shaped and I was “imprinted” by the first sex I had at 8 with a 14 year old.) The trust was gone and is slowly being rebuilt. She still doesn’t understand about me acting out 20 years after the abuse (neither did I but it happened and was addictive.) Afterwards I would feel disgust and self-loathing and let’s not forget SHAME. My wife has joined SAnon. I am in therapy and in MS. Sex for us now includes (for her) the thoughts of my abuser or the men I had sex with. It is strained to say the least.
You are in a good place here at MS with people who understand and have helped me tremendously! Take care and feel free to reach out…
 

Dan99

Registrant
This issue has always been one of the toughest parts of recovery for me. The people I'm surrounded by liked the old me. That's why they got close to me. As I change, they don't always like the new me. As I assert myself more, they miss the old doormat. As I start to make stronger choices, they don't necessarily like the things I choose. I know they don't want me miserable, but they don't connect the fact that in getting healthier I'm less like the person they met many years ago.

My wife has never wanted to talk about any of my past. She's very stoic like her mom and expects me to be so, as well. She can accept I need help, but doesn't want to be involved with it. I can accept that, but with each passing year I can feel us growing more distant from one anther.

This is a big year for me. I have a lot of choices to make, and some things I'm doing professionally will pull me even further from the marriage. I am wrestling now with coming to accept this. If I want to keep my marriage, I have to let it be a much smaller part of my life if I want to continue to grow.

This all makes me both sad and fearful. I'm sad because I enjoyed our marriage more when we were closer, though I do accept I was too much of a doormat to continue that way. I'm afraid because I have not always handled independence well. I've used my marriage as a crutch to keep me productive and balanced. With less of a crutch to rely on, I hope I won't mess up to badly.

Anyway, thank you for posting this topic. It's been on my mind a lot, and it helps to think it through.
 

Eric66

Registrant
Hey Dan… Like I’ve said before to some other guys…. I feel like I could’ve written your post…. Same with me… I’m changing a great deal since I got married 30 years ago but my wife and family want me to stay the same. In many ways I feel obligated to stay that way… Especially toward my wife since “that person” is who she married… But I can’t stay that way anymore.
I was a Christian… Even a missionary… When we got married and that’s what we did for a long time but now I don’t believe that anymore. I still believe in God I just don’t believe in him the same way. I don’t trust God like I used to and that bothers my wife a great deal. I can understand why it does and I’m empathetic with her but believing in that God… But receiving no help regarding my past abuse and issues… made me feel more and more abandoned by him and was pushing me towards suicide… So I had to get out of that quick.
I’ve asked my wife if she wants a divorce so she can move on and marry somebody awesome… But she insists on remaining with me hoping I’ll “come back to Jesus “someday. I keep telling her that I ain’t ever going to happen… But she believes she can pray me into it. Ha ha Ha
I just have to believe that it will work itself out eventually so I keep pushing to help it… So far with no positive results. I’m not down on myself or feel sorry for myself I’ve just finally decided to look at things honestly and realistically and stop sugarcoating everything. I’ve taken off those damn rose colored glasses and started being honest with myself about stuff. There will be some changes in the future… I just don’t know what they are yet.
I also have been working with a new therapist in brain spotting… Which has helped a great deal. Through brain spotting I can feel a shift in my attitude… Although I still have a long way to go.
Keep writing it out Dan and let me know how it’s going. Eric.
 

Brian76

Registrant
Brian76. Brother, I’m so sorry that your struggle is so hard. I’m right there with you buddy. And like you, my wife is as supportive as she can be. After working on this struggle for many many years she has finally admitted to me that there’s no way she can understand it but just has to trust that I am doing the best I can. After trying to discuss “therapy“ with her I discovered long ago that it only upsets her… She hates all that I’ve been through and doesn’t want to talk about it. She can’t talk about it. She doesn’t want to know… And, honestly, I don’t blame her in the least. It’s ugly.
Over the years she and I have talked about divorce… Well… Mostly I have done the talking about divorce… Feeling that she would be better off to simply find someone else who could love her the way I think she deserves to be loved. So far, she insists that she is in it for the long-haul and wants to remain together… I’m not so sure it’s the best for her however.
She and I have finally come to an agreement that at times I simply need space… I need to go into the office and sit and cry for a while. She’s learned to leave me alone. Also, after therapy, i hang out for a while and may not come home for a couple of hours. Hanging out after therapy gives me time to journal what has happened during therapy, sit in the car and cry, or just get my mind together before I return home. I always text her right after therapy and tell her that “therapy went OK… I’ll be home in an hour “ otherwise she’s afraid that I am dead on the side of the road somewhere.
Again, Brian, I really feel for you… I’m sorry for your struggle… Things do get better.
As for the search for a therapist… That is grueling isn’t it? All I can say is keep looking until you find the right one. I found mine by searching my ZIP Code on line. Sometimes I wrote more than 20 therapist… To see which ones responded the most quickly… Then I narrowed it down from there. There’s no easy way… But persevere… You will find the right one and they will help you.
Thank you friend. I feel alot of what you say is what I also feel. It has been hard. All the years I've made poor decisions in my marriage have taken a toll. Me and my wife have constant tension coupled with a horrible sex life. I have let her down so many times. I feel I still have the mentality of a 13 year old as I have been stuck at that age forever. I try to be productive and man-like (which backfires most times) I never had a positive male role model and honestly don't know how to be a man. I will try to decompress after my next therapy session as you suggest. Thanks again.
 

MO-Survivor

Staff member
I was a Christian… Even a missionary… When we got married and that’s what we did for a long time but now I don’t believe that anymore. I still believe in God I just don’t believe in him the same way. I don’t trust God like I used to and that bothers my wife a great deal. I can understand why it does and I’m empathetic with her but believing in that God… But receiving no help regarding my past abuse and issues… made me feel more and more abandoned by him and was pushing me towards suicide… So I had to get out of that quick.
Hey @Eric66. Our faith through this discovery and healing process is a difficult thing. It's been interesting. My T has helped me a bit in this regard. I don't know that there are many churches where real trauma therapy and healing occur. Part of it is there isn't time in a weekly church setting to dive deep. I've told my T that churches address things from a pretty in-the-now, behavioral perspective (it aligns well with a typical Cognitive Based Therapy - CBT - approach). The problem is, I spent years with CBT therapists and trying to change my thoughts & behaviors - but it never resolved anything long-term. We have to dig in, look back, and address the memories and feelings of the CSA trauma to find lasting healing. Jesus gave many parables about vines and trees - pointing to the fact that if we disconnect from the roots, we are going to struggle mightily or worse. Of course, he was talking about himself / God being the roots and us the branches, and that we need to stay connected (we do). But the same picture could apply to our healing from CSA. If all we do is prune the branches (thoughts & behaviors), but the roots are sick and diseased (what happened in our hearts & minds as boys), we will never produce the fruit of healing we want. Of course, both are needed: pruning branches (addressing behaviors & thoughts), as well as healing the roots, but we cannot ignore the roots.

Maybe this will give you a word picture for your wife that will help her? You said your family wants you the way you were - but how you were wasn't bringing you healing. You have to spend time working on the roots - and that may mean having feelings that God abandoned you as a boy. It may mean feeling anger and rage and unforgiveness at your abuser(s). It may mean allowing yourself to feel things sexually in order to sort through SSA and understand it in your own context (that SSA is a result of the abuse "template" forced upon you), so you can grow past it and truly grow up the sexual identity in you that was never able to grow up. If you re-read this paragraph, I listed three things - abandonment by God, unforgiveness, and SSA - that seem contrary to a Christian faith. But I have been giving myself much grace to explore and feel some of these things - in order to truly heal the roots of them and no longer just lop off branches. If you do, your family will find you on the other side - stronger and healthier than you were before.
- MO
 

Eric66

Registrant
Hey @Eric66. Our faith through this discovery and healing process is a difficult thing. It's been interesting. My T has helped me a bit in this regard. I don't know that there are many churches where real trauma therapy and healing occur. Part of it is there isn't time in a weekly church setting to dive deep. I've told my T that churches address things from a pretty in-the-now, behavioral perspective (it aligns well with a typical Cognitive Based Therapy - CBT - approach). The problem is, I spent years with CBT therapists and trying to change my thoughts & behaviors - but it never resolved anything long-term. We have to dig in, look back, and address the memories and feelings of the CSA trauma to find lasting healing. Jesus gave many parables about vines and trees - pointing to the fact that if we disconnect from the roots, we are going to struggle mightily or worse. Of course, he was talking about himself / God being the roots and us the branches, and that we need to stay connected (we do). But the same picture could apply to our healing from CSA. If all we do is prune the branches (thoughts & behaviors), but the roots are sick and diseased (what happened in our hearts & minds as boys), we will never produce the fruit of healing we want. Of course, both are needed: pruning branches (addressing behaviors & thoughts), as well as healing the roots, but we cannot ignore the roots.

Maybe this will give you a word picture for your wife that will help her? You said your family wants you the way you were - but how you were wasn't bringing you healing. You have to spend time working on the roots - and that may mean having feelings that God abandoned you as a boy. It may mean feeling anger and rage and unforgiveness at your abuser(s). It may mean allowing yourself to feel things sexually in order to sort through SSA and understand it in your own context (that SSA is a result of the abuse "template" forced upon you), so you can grow past it and truly grow up the sexual identity in you that was never able to grow up. If you re-read this paragraph, I listed three things - abandonment by God, unforgiveness, and SSA - that seem contrary to a Christian faith. But I have been giving myself much grace to explore and feel some of these things - in order to truly heal the roots of them and no longer just lop off branches. If you do, your family will find you on the other side - stronger and healthier than you were before.
- MO
Hey…thanks for the reply. I can tell that you spent a lot of time on it.
I’m sorry, but I don’t really understand what you’re saying. If “God is the roots” then I have no power to change that. I can’t change God or who he is or what He’s done. I’m done being angry with God for his choices of abuse toward me…. I’m finished allowing Him to break me. My dad used to grow roses…sometimes he would prune them then toss the stems behind a larger bush. Often a couple of those stems would root and grow. Going along with your analogy, and in order to “not die” (because the root system was untrustworthy and “killing me”…) I see myself as one of those “pruning”. Cut off…tossed aside. Removed from the source of certain death. But learning to grow anyway. For me, having read and re-read scripture, God is toxic. In Christian language, I’m NOT one of the chosen. Having accepted that…I’m able to move on in truth and stop begging Him for help (which never came…and will never come).
I’m glad for you…seriously. But, like I said, having seen and experienced the OTHER side of God…(I.e. the one who abused Job BECAUSE he was good) …it’s a path toward suicide for sure. (Rotten roots).
I hope I haven’t offended you. That is certainly not my intention.
 

Bornfree

Registrant
Hey all. I cannot seem to heal in a way that doesn't bring more negativity to my marriage. My wife tells me all I ever talk about anymore is my mental state as I try to get better. I wish I could express how I feel without causing strife.
She is supportive but seems to be growing tired it all. She feels we have no future and most of not all of this is due to my constant tripping up as I try to become an actual functioning adult male in my mid 40s. I don't feel I am very mature as I still feel emotionally still 13 years old. I struggle to find a therapist I feel can address my concerns.
When I am being negative or going on too much about my feelings I cannot seem to stop. I feel like I am inside telling myself to stop but I cannot. I never feel in control of myself. I want happiness for her and myself but don't know how to get there. I hate feeling so helpless to my own brain. Thanks for listening.
I think it is probably common for wives of guys for their spouses to complain about too much negativity. I know, it's hard, my wife is somewhat like yours, but she also understands that I have been run through the "mill" so to speak, so my mental state is not great. Is there anyone, anyone at all with whom you are close to besides your wife? I know it is damn hard sometimes to express ones feelings in words that make sense, without repeating over and over again the same thing. It is that part that drives my wife nuts! I still have not told her everything that happened, except that what my "best friend" did to me when we were 4 was something I realize now is something that must have happened to him, by a much older brother. He knew stuff that 4 year old boys don't know about, unless they are told or shown, or touched! I wish I could forgive him, but I struggle with that because I don't know what forgiveness really is. I don't know how it should feel. In the meantime, I have chosen not to be in contact with him, though I know he want to be in contact with me. Hey, and I know what it is to feel like that you are 13! I feel like I'm 12 - 13, and I think that because that is the last age frame from which I escaped the abuse, though it was not my choice, and I did not realize implications at that time - parents decided to move from an hour drive out of the city, to within the city, so that separated us, however the other piece of abuse also came from that time frame when my doctor raped me and yes hurt like hell, I just kinda froze. He did a rectal exam on me, something which is just not done on 12 yr old boys unless there is really some sort of medical need to do so that can't be determined any other way! And his other hand, bare, was having a nice feel of my butt cheek as he spread my cheeks apart to do the exam. He got his jollies out of doing it, but I realized from the very moment he was doing it, something was wrong. I was too sick to object to this action, feeling so damned miserable from something that was not the flu that he diagnosed me with with by using his fingers inside me! At that moment of him doing it, I thought" well if that is how he diagnosed my flu, then my father could have done that at home and same me the embarrassment of having it done in the wide open emerg room. Yeah, I was 12, turning 13 in a few more months, -(if I survived that long- god, I wish I hadn't) but I did and now have to live with the fallout from not only what was done to me, but what was not done for me.
 

Eric66

Registrant
I think it is probably common for wives of guys for their spouses to complain about too much negativity. I know, it's hard, my wife is somewhat like yours, but she also understands that I have been run through the "mill" so to speak, so my mental state is not great. Is there anyone, anyone at all with whom you are close to besides your wife? I know it is damn hard sometimes to express ones feelings in words that make sense, without repeating over and over again the same thing. It is that part that drives my wife nuts! I still have not told her everything that happened, except that what my "best friend" did to me when we were 4 was something I realize now is something that must have happened to him, by a much older brother. He knew stuff that 4 year old boys don't know about, unless they are told or shown, or touched! I wish I could forgive him, but I struggle with that because I don't know what forgiveness really is. I don't know how it should feel. In the meantime, I have chosen not to be in contact with him, though I know he want to be in contact with me. Hey, and I know what it is to feel like that you are 13! I feel like I'm 12 - 13, and I think that because that is the last age frame from which I escaped the abuse, though it was not my choice, and I did not realize implications at that time - parents decided to move from an hour drive out of the city, to within the city, so that separated us, however the other piece of abuse also came from that time frame when my doctor raped me and yes hurt like hell, I just kinda froze. He did a rectal exam on me, something which is just not done on 12 yr old boys unless there is really some sort of medical need to do so that can't be determined any other way! And his other hand, bare, was having a nice feel of my butt cheek as he spread my cheeks apart to do the exam. He got his jollies out of doing it, but I realized from the very moment he was doing it, something was wrong. I was too sick to object to this action, feeling so damned miserable from something that was not the flu that he diagnosed me with with by using his fingers inside me! At that moment of him doing it, I thought" well if that is how he diagnosed my flu, then my father could have done that at home and same me the embarrassment of having it done in the wide open emerg room. Yeah, I was 12, turning 13 in a few more months, -(if I survived that long- god, I wish I hadn't) but I did and now have to live with the fallout from not only what was done to me, but what was not done for me.
Brother, I’m sorry about all that. I know what you’ve been through was extremely damaging and hurtful. You seem like a survivor though!
 

MO-Survivor

Staff member
Hey…thanks for the reply. I can tell that you spent a lot of time on it.
I’m sorry, but I don’t really understand what you’re saying. If “God is the roots” then I have no power to change that. I can’t change God or who he is or what He’s done. I’m done being angry with God for his choices of abuse toward me…. I’m finished allowing Him to break me. My dad used to grow roses…sometimes he would prune them then toss the stems behind a larger bush. Often a couple of those stems would root and grow. Going along with your analogy, and in order to “not die” (because the root system was untrustworthy and “killing me”…) I see myself as one of those “pruning”. Cut off…tossed aside. Removed from the source of certain death. But learning to grow anyway. For me, having read and re-read scripture, God is toxic. In Christian language, I’m NOT one of the chosen. Having accepted that…I’m able to move on in truth and stop begging Him for help (which never came…and will never come).
I’m glad for you…seriously. But, like I said, having seen and experienced the OTHER side of God…(I.e. the one who abused Job BECAUSE he was good) …it’s a path toward suicide for sure. (Rotten roots).
I hope I haven’t offended you. That is certainly not my intention.
No offense taken at all Eric. I'll shoot you a PM if I can and take this out of this thread. But yeah - I don't think we are understanding each other.

My response was focused on you, your family, and helping them understand your need to process through things in a different context than the standard "Christian template" we have lived in for so long. I was actually being supportive of you in your shift away from the faith you once held. Where I am now with my own spirituality is a lot different than I was a year or two ago. So my response was not - even the parable reference - meant to speak about God or your relationship with him. And I really hope you didn't think I was trying to preach at you. I totally was not :)
- MO
 

Eric66

Registrant
MO, I didn’t feel preached at. You’re really good at expressing yourself and came across as caring and concerned.
(More on PM feed).
 

Brian76

Registrant
Brian,
I understand. I’m 65 now. I wish I joined MS at your age. When I joined MS two years ago, I needed help. I was thinking again of acting out with men (which I did in my 20-40’s) and joined MS and wrote my story. I had never told my wife about the men I was with. She read my story and was floored! She didn’t understand that I was re-enacting the abuse at 8. She thought I was bi (I’m not but my erotic template was shaped and I was “imprinted” by the first sex I had at 8 with a 14 year old.) The trust was gone and is slowly being rebuilt. She still doesn’t understand about me acting out 20 years after the abuse (neither did I but it happened and was addictive.) Afterwards I would feel disgust and self-loathing and let’s not forget SHAME. My wife has joined SAnon. I am in therapy and in MS. Sex for us now includes (for her) the thoughts of my abuser or the men I had sex with. It is strained to say the least.
You are in a good place here at MS with people who understand and have helped me tremendously! Take care and feel free to reach out…
Thank you so much.
 
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