[This message edited by caretoomuch at 6:13 PM, April 19th (Thursday)]
There is a GREAT book - the courage to heal - I would HIGHLY reccomend to any survivor. They have a workbook as well. I tried counseling - but this book helped me more than any counselour did. The workbook is wonderful. Buy these for her - once she gets throught them - and it will be hard - she'll cry - be mad - the full cycle - once she's done - she will fell ALOT better - then maybe she'll open up.
My dad was my abuser as well. That's a tough one - there are big trust issues!
I am not sure what you are saying here. Are you saying that someone who is being currently victimized
but not those who were victimized in the past are suseptable to predators?
No I am not saying that....what I am saying is that someone that was victimized in the past but has dealt with it and gone from victim to survivor and perhaps all the way to thriver does not lack the ability to see signs of danger.
But a past victim who never deals with it is at risk for "revictimization" as an adult because they continue to lack the ability to see signs of danger?
Make sense? I am distinguishing sex abuse victims by splitting them in two groups...those that never dealt with past abuse for whatever reason and remain vunerable and those that were also past victims but dealt with it and now are free from those defecits.
Life gives us us sorrow so we can have something to measure happiness with.
I actually have found it more helpful than Courage to Heal when working with couples where the spouse is struggling with how to help with abuse issues.
I want to add one thing to the partners/spouses of SaB victims.
There is a large body of evidence that suggest that the partner of an SaB victim (known or unknown to the partner) can suffer secondary trauma because of sexual relationship dynamics that develop between the abuse victim and the partner.
These dynamics can include avoidance/aversion by the SaB victim in which in relationship is void of sexual intimacy-not necessarily sexual activity but that is often the case.
The relationship is filled with very unhealthy sexual interactions ranging from promiscuity and affairs, exploitive sexual behaviors such as coerced threesomes, S & M or any other sexual behaviors the non abused partner feels uncomfortable with.
I personally felt this way long before I knew anything about therapy and long before I knew anything about my FWWs abusive past.
And when I read about and went to seminars it stood out ASAP on a personal level how true that was pre D-day and pre her dealing with her abusive past.
I want to buy the book "The Sexual Healing Journey" for me but I'm afraid it will make him angry and distant if he sees me reading it. And, I don't want to hide it from him because we are working so hard on being open and honest.
[This message edited by tputer at 8:16 PM, April 22nd (Sunday)]
Okay then how about being open and honest by getting a book you want to read so that you understand the impact of SaB on you...because the book addresses both the past abuse victim and their partner.
Lots of approaches do not expect a victim to relive the abuse as part of the treatment approach.
Bill O'Hanlin nationally recognized lecturer and well known marriage and family therapist and author of e "Even From A Broken Web" works forward in solving past abuse with very little dealing with the actual abuse only the feelings the abuse generates in the past victim in current life.
I have realized that admiration/validation is what my husband responds to more than anything else. He won't even notice a woman until she admires him in someway, either his work or looks whatever. He is still vulnerable, I see it. I did not realize what was making me upset/angry about this woman and not that one until it hit me.
What I see and scares me is that he responds big time to admiration of any kind from a woman. His ap 20 years ago and a woman online in 2002 did this for him big time. He ate it up.
What worries me is he is still vulnerable. I am doing all I can to be that for him. We have discussed it and he admits he likes the admiration but says he likes it when he gets amiration from guys to(for his work or golfing etc). I say yes but I am not worried about the guys, I am worried about the women and I see a difference in how you respond to the women. You want to do anything for them to keep the admiration coming. And that is how the affair started. She admired and flirted big time.
I guess it is good we are talking about it. I so wish he would go to a counselor to deal with his past abuse. he never has. Says he does not need to.
Allies in Healing is written for the partners of SAb survivors, it was spun off from the chapter in Courage to Heal.
It's pretty good, and in mostly a question and answer format. I've been reading it now and then.
unfound also mentioned it upthread.
LoneRider - Thanks. I will look into that book too.
just tired - I can really relate to the admiration aspect of what you're talking about. I see that in him too. And, that is what was so appealing to him (from what I know so far) about the two APs. They had that initial relationship wow factor where everything looks perfect and the other person is just perfect. I represent the reality of trying to maintain day to day life that involves taking out the trash and all of the not so romantic aspects of an ongoing relationship. I also see how he needs so much for everyone to like and admire him in everything he does. I see how it is exhausting for him to maintain the facade sometimes. It seems he spends so much time putting on this outward expression that he's too exhausted to do the things that don't generate that type of admiration you described.
Please, please, please, just let me out of this life!!!!!
Again, I am not looking for anything, I am just tired of screwing up my families lives.
Sorry for the waste of space.
I refuse to beleive that my being a victim of Sab plays any part in my H's A.
I had no control over what my father did - I take no responsibility for it. I will NOT and never have let it define my life! I am so much more than that.
Now my question. Am I unjustified in being upset by his contact with him. At this very minute she is at a dinner with him and the other managers. yes I am somewhat bothered.
What do you think? I posted this in General also with the question. Now for here I want to say I understand this to be related to her denial and SAb issues. They are not the cause, But it does have root there. She is having a hard time with bounderies.
How can I get her to realize that , if tis is a problem, then how to fix it. MC and IC seem to be failing.
[This message edited by hurts at 5:57 PM, April 24th (Tuesday)]
It's not fair, and it's not right, and even though I understand the impacts (as much as I can) of SAb, it doesn't give him any right to hurt me, knowing he is.
I hurt FOR him, and hurt because of him.
So much hurt.
I am in a tight spot here. This past week my W went into meltdown. She is so angry at me. But I think she is angrier at everything. She usually is able to turn off stuff inside her. It is her ability to do this that has allowed her to survive, I think. Well in the past four days, she hasnít done hat.
I have been her own worst enemy, because as I have reached my own boil over point, I am just not responding to her anger very well. I have said some very hurtful things. Yes, I go back and apologize, but it makes no difference. I usually start out calm, but she goes straight to anger and sarcasm and criticism. I just have not much patience any more.
It is so hard to back off sometimes. She has such a cutting way with words and I am tired of just taking it. I am tired of being the problem all of the time. I am sad and frustrated because of some of the actions she has done. All I hear from her is that I can't let go, all I do is drag up history.
Well to a point that is true. She asks why I am sad, depressed or angry. OK, I am angry because the OM called you. Then why don't I like the guy. So I go through the list. Well this is dragging up history. OK, I get it. But you asked. Why does it still bother me? Because the only time it was ever really addressed, you didn't ask me, you asked him. You both agreed that there was nothing going on, so you two continued. I never thought it was a PA. It was an EA. And that has hurt almost more than the PA.
Here's the trick. She has a very long history of inappropriate sexual misconduct. I try to tell her that I can so see a direct relationship to that and her SAb issues. It doesn't excuse it, but it does give rise to why it is occurring.
So I guess what I am really doing is pushing her to identify and deal with these demons. It is hard, more than I can imagine. But I live in a constant fear that if she doesn't address the root of the problem, it is just going to repeat itself.
OK, I agree. She is at the end of the road with me. Yesterday we talked about the problem. She can see that it is a problem. I told her to fix it then. She said she's working on it. As soon as I am gone, so is the problem. Well that makes sense. Maybe she is right.
We talked about the A. It was a ONS. She left work and drove to OM's house and went in. She has no real explanation for why she made that trip. I have heard that it was looking for a friend; she needed some who understood her. Lots of different thoughts but nothing firm or steady. To my knowledge her OM's are older. Anyway, I agree that she has no idea why she went. This is a big point with me. I accept that reason and am mostly past it. But I have not forgotten it. What I fear is that she does not actively look for an answer to why she went in the first place. So what is to stop her from doing it again? And each time she is in crisis and late from work, I am upset by it because I am so worried about whatís happening. I posted yesterday my fears. Hereís the point from my perspective. All I am told is that she has worked on it. Nothing else. Nothing outward or said to give me reassurance that she has a toolkit with her to stop further problems. I know how the last time nearly killed me, I am so afraid of it happening again. Her counselor has told her that she has done all possible to make up for the A. No one has asked me how I felt about it or what it is I need. What I told her was I just need some understanding that triggers happen. If she would just simple say she was sorry, support me through it and move on. That may be all I am looking for. But she has already told me that is not acceptable. I need to be past all of it.
How do I get past the fear of it happening again? Without her reassurance to me that she is prepared for it. Am I wrong in asking for this?
Now, I think my biggest problem is just that. I have move past the movies, the rollercoaster of the A. Here's why. I think I understand how it (the act) came to be. I accept no answer for the trip and as she described what happened after she got there. I feel like she was completely honest and answered all questions. Well it made sense and was logical in the process. And also I had seen her just shirk away and enclose herself in a protective shell. She just withdrew and complied. And given what I have read here and in other sources on SAB survivors. It was like textbook. But to her credit, she was able to recollect herself and remove herself before the act was finished. What strength and courage that must have taken. I did not appreciate he magnitude of that until recently, having been caught up in the dynamics of dealing with the betrayal in myself.
Yet it is that same strength that gives me to believe that she can overcome this. After dday, she wanted to get his resolved. MC said he could help her. Yet it always seemed something got in the way. Mostly it was me. For I was a wreck. Probably still am. I think I am bothered by the fact the counselor is telling her that it is all in my court, she has done everything possible to resolve the affair.
I guess I need to work on that.
I guess the point to this is me questioning myself if I am over it. Am I still driven by it? I just don't know at this point. Is my fear of it happening again a part of it, or is it just another phase. I don't feel angry about it. But I do feel fear of it. I think I am afraid that all of the hurt and pain will come back in full force and just completely overwhelm me. I just have nothing left inside of me to fight it.
Is this reasonable. But also at the same time I feel like the EA is very unresolved. Mostly from the steady denial of anything being there. All opinions have been that something was there. So it lies unresolved inside me, because for years I have had to just deal with it happening and accepting that there was nothing to do about it. I know it is one of the biggies in my life.
The other big issue that she seems to have is the one concerning my son. I think my biggest problem here is her constant denial of her part in it and a willing ness to work through it. The only time she says that she is at fault is when she is angry. Again from what I have learned about SAb survivors and agreed with by IC, she never developed as a teen emotionally to learn how to deal with teens. Especially boys, who of course were her abusers. So I understand whatís happening, it is very hard being in the middle of the battle. All I want is for the boy to have a safe place to grow up. And of course I want a relationship with him. This point just drives W crazy. It is like she can't share my love for him or come to any kind of understanding of her responsibility as a parent. What I fear the most is that she is already overloading with her own kids. If she doesn't figure it out soon, it will be her kids she drives away.
And then with her history of unhealthy choices in dealing with the insecurities, what is going to happen to our son.
Yep, I might fully agree that it is my fear of what could happen is driving me more than anything else. I may be way off base, but I know I am very afraid.
I love her; I want to be with her. I know I need to accept the fact that she is choosing to go a different path. I don't see it as a bad one, sometimes. In a sane moment, I can see a much calmer life away from her. But what about my kids. They are left in this situation. 99% of the time she is an excellent mom. I worry that one of these days she will drag home someone who will do to my kids what was done to her. And she may say she will protect them I believe she would, but once the wolf is in the door, damage is already occurring.
You know, I can't think of anything else that gives me worry. And I see all of this as workable. I know I have to yield and flex. I know that I am not right about all of it. But it is my fears and I just need to work through them. It is just so very hard in the eye of her anger and denial.
What to do?