Please Help - Supporter of Survivor

An area for new members to introduce themselves, as well as a place where all members can share concerns, questions or general posts.
Everyone is welcome here.

Moderators: Harmony, quixote, Jonesy

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:12 pm

Please Help - Supporter of Survivor

Post by Maggie » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:40 am

Good morning. Firstly, thank you for accepting me into your forum. I suppose I am classed as a ‘supporter’ of a victim of childhood sexual abuse rather than a ‘survivor’. My needs initially may seem quite selfish as initially I am trying to reassure myself rather than help my partner, father of my child and due-to-be husband in November next year.

My partner was abused by a family friend when he was 10 years of age (he is 36 now), along with his brother and one of their friends. Cub Scout leader who took them away on camps and baby-sat for them from time to time. I met my partner online in November 2014.
Our relationship in both of our opinions is / was fantastic. We met online in November 2014 and bought and moved into our first house together by December 2015. In July 2017 we decided to try for a baby and I fell pregnant almost immediately. It was perfect. By April 2018 he had become a Dad for the first time. He was the PROUDEST dad. I have a 12 year old from a previous relationship.

My partner has quote strong characteristics;

- He possesses very high morals and believes in being a perfect dad, spending time with his family and being the traditional breadwinner of the family.
- He often criticises people and analyses their lives.
- He has a short temper and is known for being a grumpy man. One minutes he’s f’ing and jeffing and the next he’s singing. Very up and down.
- He makes a big deal out of small things a lot.
- He spends his spare time sat in his ‘cosies’ which is better known as loungewear, on the sofa looking at rubbish on his phone. Literally hours spent on his phone.
- He’s very materialistic and throws money around quite frivolously although we don’t have so much no as I’m not working. Included within this used to be gifts for me; Mulberry handbag, Louboutin shoes, expensive earphones for the gym etc etc and he even leases me a flash car which doesn’t cost me a penny. Bearing in mind he did this in 2016 on 19 months after we met, I saw this as a bit commitment as the lease was for 3 years! My friends and most people think he talks about money all the time and find it too much.
- He suffers with quite severe anxiety. Gets bed sweats and leaves the bed wet most mornings.
- He doesn’t have a social life other than what I organise for us with my friends and we are quite close to his family so we spend time with them.
- He works a highly paid job where he struggles with his performance. I’m my opinion he simply isn’t cut out for that job but I don’t tell him that. He simply can not manage stress.
- He has low self esteem and although he spends lot of time in the gym, he can resist eating double lunches and buying chocolate bars in two’s. Spends lots of time looking at himself in the mirror and if someone says he’s lost weight or looks good he hangs on it forever.
- He has THE most AWFUL memory. But knows the name of every face on TV and what they do, their family members and loads of useless rubbish about most celebrities. It’s honestly quite bizarre and I’ve often questioned it.
- He very sexual. Not into anything out of the norm but quite demanding at times – like a lot men in some respects.

So here’s the problem. A couple of weeks ago after months of suspicions, I was able to prove he had been watching porn on my laptop. I don’t have a big problem with watching the porn, it’s quite a normal thing for men to do from time to time. But not on MY personal laptop and every weekend while he sat with our kids while I go to the gym. He disappears off to the bathroom for ages while we’re in the house too – with his phone. The sites he was looking at were paid for sites but he swore he only browsed through the free stuff and money was never exchanged. We talked it over and he apologised. We moved on although I felt like I had lost a little respect for him. Things have probably over the last few months, gone off the boil a little as I’m exhausted from looking after our baby.

Then, my whole world fell apart on Friday last week, just a couple of weeks after the porn discovery. I found evidence that he has been seeing prostitutes. I’ll keep it short – he has been seeing prostitutes (his admission 5-6 times) since the first couple of months of my pregnancy in September 2017. I am just devastated. He has been very forthcoming in trying to give me all the answers I need. He swears it’s a compulsion he gets and this solution offers a release he needs. Sometimes something that builds over a few days or weeks or perhaps a really stressful time at work. He knows it’s wrong but he puts it away in a ‘box’ and forgets it for a while and just gets it back out every now and then. He says he feels guilty when he does it but it serves a purpose. It’s a business transaction, nothing emotional, purely physical. He says he has never tried to have an affair and isn’t interested in anything like that. He loves me and his family more than anything in the world and wants me to stand by him while he gets this issue sorted. He says he’s weirdly relieved it’s come out so he can tackle this. It eats into his time at work as he takes time out to look at ‘nonsense’ (as he refers to it) on his phone.

We are considering some form of Sex Addiction – is this really something that’s the result of his childhood sex abuse? Or is he using that as an excuse to cover up his greedy, selfish ways to gain the self gratification he desires. The answer decides if I try and forgive this man or move on. He is so, so sorry and is pulling out all the stops to prove it. Are they the actions of a man who is sorry he has been caught and scared he will lose everything? Or a suffering victim of childhood abuse who couldn't help himself and is so deeply disturbed he was pushed to this? There is so much at stake. I feel really sad if this is linked to his childhood but it doesn’t excuse what he’s done and I deserve better. My 12 year olds father is a drug addict – which is why I left. I can’t believe I am having to go through this distrust again.

I have carried out extensive research online and he seems to have many typical characteristics of someone who suffers abuse.

I’m hoping to find a bit of clarity and hope you don’t mind me coming to try and find this. We are seeing a couples therapist tonight.

Thanks in advance.

Posts: 2298
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Re: Please Help - Supporter of Survivor

Post by Noname » Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:30 pm

Hi Maggie. It's nice to meet you. Wow, there's a lot to unpack here. I'm sorry you are going through this.

The short answer to your question is yes, it is possible that your partner's behavior could be linked to his abuse. Many survivors develop unhealthy coping mechanisms (addiction, self-harm, eating disorders, etc.). Actually, a lot of the behaviors you listed could be attributed to certain diagnoses common in survivors, but only a T (therapist) would be able to say for sure what diagnosis/diagnoses would fit for him.

That being said, his behaviors are a huge betrayal of your trust, and he could have put himself and you in danger. I would highly recommend getting yourself tested for STDs if you haven't already. It's great that he is owning up to his behaviors, though it does seem like he's trying to make excuses for himself. Seeing a couple's T is good as long as you feel like you are both being heard and understood. Seeing Ts individually would probably be helpful - especially for him, as if he's truly willing to take a look in the mirror and work on his own problems and unhealthy coping that would be the place to do it.

Unfortunately, some survivors choose not to heal, for whatever reason. Sometimes doing the work sounds too hard or scary. Sometimes they can't see their own faults and flaws, or they don't think there's anything wrong with their behavior. Whatever their reasons, they can end up doing damage to themselves and the people around them who care about them. I'm not saying that this is the case for your partner because I don't know him. What I am saying is that, while the abuse he went through might explain some of his behaviors, it doesn't excuse them. Your decision on whether to stay with him or not is yours and yours alone. Only you can decide how much you can forgive, how much betrayal you can "let go" of. Just remember that regardless of what he went through in his past nothing gives him the right to mistreat you. You, your feelings, and your health are important too. Whatever choice you make, make it for yourself.

Posts: 2412
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:34 am

Re: Please Help - Supporter of Survivor

Post by coconuts » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:15 pm

So sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you love him but don't know how to help and protect yourself.

I completely agree with the things noname said. I think the best thing right now you can both do is get in counseling and not just couples counseling. He needs individual counseling for sure, and you do as well to help support him but also to help you. Dealing with the fallout of abuse and mental illness and addictions as a partner is hard work. And. Having your own T can help ease the burden.

Posts: 522
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:36 pm

Re: Please Help - Supporter of Survivor

Post by EasyStreet » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:31 pm

Hi Maggie, sorry to hear of your troubles.

I totally agree with the above comments. Therapy can probably help you all. Worth the time money effort.

I am currently struggling with a somewhat similar situation except we were both abused/neglected as kids and I am the husband who finds the relationship painful and one-sided.

Only you can decide about leaving.

But if you do, make sure to follow up with therapy.

Truth and insight are all I have left.
Thanks for being.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests