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My story - from the sidelines


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#1 rudderless

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 11:06 AM

My story is a little different. Most of you seem to be experiencing this firsthand, not so I. For starters I'm male and the person experiencing abuse is a woman I've known some 18+ years. I worked in her office and had a terrible crush on her but she was newly married and I was quite shy and young. A friend of mine used to tease me about her quite a bit actually. We became friends and worked well together.

A few years later I attended a conference with her, she was QUITE pregnant. Sparks, electricity, you name it - it was there. But I thought it was just me. By the end of the conference folks were asking us what we were going to name OUR baby, we were both embarrassed. After the conference we both returned to our perspective offices and didn't speak much. I thought it was all in my head, apparently so did she - she was quite hurt by my silence I found out later. Seems she was married and miserable.

We did talk a little. As time went on we were still friends. Another conference came up, during one of the fun nights out on a ride I reached out to her, we ended up holding hands. It was again, electric! We palled around the rest of the conference, it was fun. When we got home we spoke more, we found out about the electricity. I was seeing someone at the time. We decided to explore this, we got together one day, it was awkward and in the end we didn't work well. We setup a business trip where we could try again but before the trip she told me she was seeing someone else and on the trip she was pretty sick. I was hurt but I thought it was for the better. She was pregnant again, she ended up leaving her husband and going to the new man, she married him, not too long after she had twin boys with him - 4children now We remained in touch, we still talked, now closer friends than before but still some distance.

Forward a few more years. My relationship is on life support, boring, no love, just roomates with benefits I guess. She had said something to me months before that had pushed me away so we weren't talking. A friend of her's came to me looking for some help. We spoke and I realized that I had been silly to stop talking to her. We began talking again, I found out she was seperated and had been for months. We began hanging out, I did stuff for her around the house - fixed things. The electricity was back bigtime. Pretty soon it was physical, we fell in love. I met her children, we got along well.

I found out that her life had been hell for years. That the whole family walked on egg shells every night awaiting his coming home. That his mood set the tone for the evening. He was often angry, they fought often - angry yelling fights. He never backed down, he always won. No discussion, his way or the highway she says. He became physical with the children. Social services soon had two reports and he was forced into "anger management" therapy which he resented. They tried couples therapy, the male therapist was soon on his side and she was miserable. Eventually she managed to get him out of the house for the kids ad months later she and I began to talk and see one another.

He figured out that something was up, got her drunk one evening taking her out to dinner and grilled her. She admitted to the two of us seeing one another. He decided to tell the woman I was with - I told her instead. I soon moved out and my friend and I were soon seeing one another a good bit. Before we made any formal commitment he managed to get into her bed, he even took a picture without asking. Guilty she told me about it, we made a commitment to one another right then. During an argument the next day with my ex she told me she knew the two of them had slept together, it was clear to me what he had tried to do but he denied it to her. She's still not sure.

Time went on with the two of us seeing one another. I got to know the kids and grew to love them too. We both read some books on men with abuse issues but I don't think she ever saw herself as "abused". I knew they spoke some, the boys were real trouble as they almost took over his role. She tried one therapist with them without much luck. We seemed to drift apart a little, I wasn't sure what was up and asking about it didn't seem to help. She went to see a second therapist with him too. The idea being they would work together with the boys. He was "Disney Dad" of course, taking the boys places every other weekend etc. He had even stopped being a jerk to her for once, her anger seemed to have cooled. Well after the first therapy session she said she needed some space. That she was thinking of couples therapy with him again. I was in shock, what about us?! She said she wasn't going anywhere. We had plans to move in together in just a few months, I was pretty confused.

I gave her some space, I was out of town for a week and left her alone. When I returned and saw her she tells me that she wishes to be "friends" and that she would be seeing a counselor with him. Him the man who was suddenly so nice. We had been seeing one another almost 10 months, she was the center of my world - no longer. I told her goodbye, she told me she still loved me.

We went a week before I could no longer stand it, I read still more books. I began to understand that this was maybe part of a pattern. We still speak some now, it's only been since memorial day weekend. My problem is this makes no sense to me, that the abuse is so obvious to me but not to her. That I feel she is making a huge mistake. I know he will abuse her again. He's never gone more than a few months but time is so slow! We've seen one another a time or two. When we sat and spoke it was obvious she cares, she cries too. But she says she "must do this". She has told her oldest daughter, the one who fears him the most, that she and I are simply taking a break. The older daughter says she is there all the time now. <sigh> The second time I saw her it was like I'd never left, it was so easy. She hugged me and told me that she loved me too when I left. I'm so confused!

I'm not sure what to do. The anchor book says to not push her away. My friends, my counselor, all say to be distant. My counselor has pointed out that the power in their relationship has gone from being all his to now all her's and I see it. I am also seeing signs that he is looking to tie her down again, spend her money. She is stronger now, more wary, he is now getting "anger management" counseling and the two attend couples therapy.

Meanwhile I am alone in apartment that has never been more than home base. Her home was mine, I was always there except for nights. When she asked me to be "friends" she said that I had been smothering her. When she and I had tried to slow things down I had taken to calling each day to see if she wanted me to come over - she tired of that soon and told me to come over all the time. So being told I smothered her confuses me. I want to think that she was just scared of our looming move in date, when I asked she agreed that was scaring her. I have pushed her some, stupidly. I have tried to point out the folly of what she is doing, asked her why she would go back to someone who has hurt her so much, She simply says she must do this, that she is doing it for her and for her family. She doesn't see the damage he has caused to the family already and that this mess continues to cause. I am on the sidelines now, powerless to do anything. I am having a hard time accepting this, I am having a hard time feeling so little control over things.

I read the stories here. I see the patterns, the awful patterns, that emerge over and over. I am caught in this with a woman I dearly love and who I would give the world for. She doesn't see the pattern and I worry she is headed for a meat grinder. I worry that what comes out the other end may not be fully the woman I still love. I feel that she still loves me too, she says she does. She says her eyes are wide open, that this will be the last time if he screws it up. I hope dearly that if this happens that she will come back to me. That we can both get some help for surely this is damaging me too now, I feel it. If time could just jump forward I feel like it would all be better. But passing the time is hard. I am leaning on friends, I am trying not to lean on her. I feel like I need to cut off contact, to stem the pain, but I do not want her to feel I have abandoned her. I'm tearing in half. I know that her friends are supporting her, I still worry.

So, what to do? I share my pain here I think to let others know. This doesn't just effect the victims, this has collateral damage too. I still have hope, I have told her this isn't over, I still feel love for her as strongly as ever but I feel a deep hurt too. I am going to try and make it through this, to move along myself, but I am so worried about her. I just hope that he doesn't take too long to pop, and that when he does he doesn't hurt her or the kids. My reading tells me that she has no reinforced his behaviour by going back, that he will be more secure and likely to escalate. But I also recognize the power shift, and wonder how that will effect things. Will he wear her back down, tear her up? Or pop more quickly? He once told my ex that he wanted his "old XXXXX back like the way things were". I know he wants something back he cannot have...

Anyway, I've rambled enough. I've not spoken so much about her abuse. Rest assured it was there, quite a bit of it. He kicked his boys, he hurt one of the girls, enough there for me to be sure. He never hurt her, just the kids. Now she's hurt me. I'm pretty confused and torn up... I'd appreciate some advice, I cannot be the only one watching helpless while something liek this happens to a loved one. :cry_smile:

#2 earthgoddess

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:08 PM

just my quick supposition, but seems to me she has treated you badly in the process.......
why, oh why would you take her back when she slept with him?
and why would you wait?
she knows you will wait, she has you on the side lines and she has him?
this is very unhealthy, it is called triangulation
just my 2 cents
*smiles*
EG

#3 rudderless

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:14 PM

just my quick supposition, but seems to me she has treated you badly in the process.......
why, oh why would you take her back when she slept with him?
and why would you wait?
she knows you will wait, she has you on the side lines and she has him?
this is very unhealthy, it is called triangulation
just my 2 cents
*smiles*
EG


It feels like she is doing this one last time to get over him but she's not shared that with me. She has said that she thinks maybe this won't fit the books, that there's always an exception. I doubt it, this man is too into control.

I took her back because she was manipulated, he played on her feelngs. She was grieving for a lost parent at the time. I knew that at that time she had some feelings for him, but she was trying to break away. I thought that was over, 9 months later I find out differently I guess. The anger for him, the way he treated her, the manhandling, everything seems to have just faded. She always told me he could be "really charming" when he wanted to de. I am seeing this now I think. Maybe she just needs to see him like that one more time, maybe she realizes that he will really blow this time. I just don't know. Honestly the sex doesn't throw me into a rage of jealousy, I'm not like that. I can accept it and get past it but I think this time it will certainly be harder, we'll need help. She's trapped in a cycle, I recognize that. Can I truly hold her 100% responsible for having someone do this to her? <sigh>

#4 earthgoddess

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:21 PM

It feels like she is doing this one last time to get over him but she's not shared that with me. She has said that she thinks maybe this won't fit the books, that there's always an exception. I doubt it, this man is too into control.

I took her back because she was manipulated, he played on her feelngs. She was grieving for a lost parent at the time. I knew that at that time she had some feelings for him, but she was trying to break away. I thought that was over, 9 months later I find out differently I guess. The anger for him, the way he treated her, the manhandling, everything seems to have just faded. She always told me he could be "really charming" when he wanted to de. I am seeing this now I think. Maybe she just needs to see him like that one more time, maybe she realizes that he will really blow this time. I just don't know. Honestly the sex doesn't throw me into a rage of jealousy, I'm not like that. I can accept it and get past it but I think this time it will certainly be harder, we'll need help. She's trapped in a cycle, I recognize that. Can I truly hold her 100% responsible for having someone do this to her? <sigh>


you are rescuing her; and she isn't being rescued....
this isn' t about her or the abuse she has suffered, she needs to work that out for herself......you cannot do it for her; and a relationship based on you rescuing her will not work and is not healthy.......
even if she leaves him; she will need to have a good long look at herself and her patterns, and falling in to a relationship with you, or anyone else will not be a good choice
i am sorry to be so blunt, but you are setting yourself and her up for failure........
i will repeat myself YOU CANNOT SAVE HER, she must save herself.......
she will end up resenting you......
just my honest opinion (as someone who has worked in DV)
EG :emoticon-animal-001:

#5 rudderless

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:30 PM

you are rescuing her; and she isn't being rescued....
this isn' t about her or the abuse she has suffered, she needs to work that out for herself......you cannot do it for her; and a relationship based on you rescuing her will not work and is not healthy.......
even if she leaves him; she will need to have a good long look at herself and her patterns, and falling in to a relationship with you, or anyone else will not be a good choice
i am sorry to be so blunt, but you are setting yourself and her up for failure........
i will repeat myself YOU CANNOT SAVE HER, she must save herself.......
she will end up resenting you......
just my honest opinion (as someone who has worked in DV)
EG :emoticon-animal-001:


Reading through the book on anchoring yes I see myself as having tried to rescue her, I didn't know at the time - I thought she was free. I am not sure how best to break that other than recognizing that she does have to do this herself. I'm just not sure if I need to be distant or close, how best to work on this. I do love her and she says she loves me - that complicates this. I felt fairly good when I had been told that she had seperated and tat it had been months, I was foolish. I have learned more now, I'm not sure if I can just walk away or not. I do want to be there when she needs me but yes I am slowly realizing that she has to go through this - she says she must as well. I just wish I wasn't along for the ride, I wish that we had avoided this - I was certainly happy. <sigh> I thought she was too until she dropped a house on me...

So, do I go or stay? Do I stay in touch or not? I am sure he will screw this up - I feel it. How bad is it likely to be when he boils over? Do they get worse when the woman has returned like this? What's DV? :(

Edited by rudderless, 06 June 2009 - 12:31 PM.


#6 earthgoddess

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:34 PM

Reading through the book on anchoring yes I see myself as having tried to rescue her, I didn't know at the time - I thought she was free. I am not sure how best to break that other than recognizing that she does have to do this herself. I'm just not sure if I need to be distant or close, how best to work on this. I do love her and she says she loves me - that complicates this. I felt fairly good when I had been told that she had seperated and tat it had been months, I was foolish. I have learned more now, I'm not sure if I can just walk away or not. I do want to be there when she needs me but yes I am slowly realizing that she has to go through this - she says she must as well. I just wish I wasn't along for the ride, I wish that we had avoided this - I was certainly happy. <sigh> I thought she was too until she dropped a house on me...

So, do I go or stay? Do I stay in touch or not? I am sure he will screw this up - I feel it. How bad is it likely to be when he boils over? Do they get worse when the woman has returned like this? What's DV? :(

domestic violence = DV

if you love her; i mean really love her
then you go.......you give her space and time to do her healing work, and you do yours
if it is meant to be it will be
just my opinion
EG

#7 rudderless

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:39 PM

domestic violence = DV

if you love her; i mean really love her
then you go.......you give her space and time to do her healing work, and you do yours
if it is meant to be it will be
just my opinion
EG


Thank you, I will try. When I broke from her, when she first asked to be just friends, I didn't speak for a week. She told me it was hell, as bad for her as me from her description. I don't want to hurt her but I want even more for her not to resent me. I want our second chance, very badly. We've felt something from before she experienced this, she's still in there somewhere. This really hurts, why are some people so twisted inside that they hurt the ones they claim to love like this? I know she's a good person, I know she's confused - she has told me so. I just hope that she makes it out of this. She scares me when she has said she might not tell anyone next time, I hope that her friends will be there for her. I wish I could be too...

I will try to get distance <sigh>

#8 earthgoddess

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:42 PM

Thank you, I will try. When I broke from her, when she first asked to be just friends, I didn't speak for a week. She told me it was hell, as bad for her as me from her description. I don't want to hurt her but I want even more for her not to resent me. I want our second chance, very badly. We've felt something from before she experienced this, she's still in there somewhere. This really hurts, why are some people so twisted inside that they hurt the ones they claim to love like this? I know she's a good person, I know she's confused - she has told me so. I just hope that she makes it out of this. She scares me when she has said she might not tell anyone next time, I hope that her friends will be there for her. I wish I could be too...

I will try to get distance <sigh>


i am so sorry rudderless
i speak from experience.......
go and take care of yourself; look at your desire to rescue; check out some counseling for yourself
could be a great investment!

#9 rudderless

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:48 PM

i am so sorry rudderless
i speak from experience.......
go and take care of yourself; look at your desire to rescue; check out some counseling for yourself
could be a great investment!


I am speaking to a counselor. I have been all along through this. It has helped me some but this is a pain from deep in my heart, talking to someone once in awhile doesn't help this much. I wish I had worked with her more, gotten some help from a counselor ourselves. Maybe we could have avoided this but I was foolish - I thought this part of her life was over. I guess after waiting so damned long for a chance with her I'm going to have to wait still longer. My life meanwhile is on hold, I do indeed feel rudderless <sigh> I hope I do not end up resenting HER when this is done...

#10 earthgoddess

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 12:50 PM

I am speaking to a counselor. I have been all along through this. It has helped me some but this is a pain from deep in my heart, talking to someone once in awhile doesn't help this much. I wish I had worked with her more, gotten some help from a counselor ourselves. Maybe we could have avoided this but I was foolish - I thought this part of her life was over. I guess after waiting so damned long for a chance with her I'm going to have to wait still longer. My life meanwhile is on hold, I do indeed feel rudderless <sigh> I hope I do not end up resenting HER when this is done...


rudderless?
you need to focus on you; and why you choose to rescue and put yourself in to relationships where the other person is not emotionally available......
(sorry it is the counselor in me)




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