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Husband read my journal w/o permission

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Searching4Self, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Buttercup

    Buttercup Well-Known Member

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    Your gratitude and grin and bear it outlook are surely helpful to you now, but I imagine your true feelings are going to break out eventually. You are probably working out these heavy thoughts and feelings in therapy, right?
     
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  3. Searching4Self

    Searching4Self Active Member

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    I was working on transference issues and beginning to question how they connected to my relationship with my mom. I wasn’t focusing on my feelings toward my husband because I saw him as a supporter, someone I thought I could lean on.

    Now the transference seems to have vanished. My heavy feelings now are related to hatred, I’m ashamed to say. I hate how this happened. I hate how I have to stay “put-together” for him to feel okay. I hate how he feels like he can understand me now. Why does that bother me? Feeling understood should make me feel good. But since it wasn’t on my terms I feel gross about it, like a half-formed creature, not ready to see the light. And I feel like my work, my process, is gone.

    I tried re-reading my journal. I was so sad to see the focus change from exploring my self in a curious way to page after page devoted to analyzing my husband and the effects of his actions.

    The buried feelings behind the grit and gratitude are all swirling around the word HATE, like I’m 13 and saying I hate my parents.

    I guess I’m going to be depressed for a while until I figure out how to live again, how to cultivate the process again after this blow. Why is there a part of me that says, “I will never forgive him!” Maybe it’s the 13-year-old in me. I guess I’m not being honest with him if I say I forgive him.
     
  4. FauxLiz

    FauxLiz Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Searching4Self you have handled this so much better than I could even imagine. I truly hope that you can work through this. Early on in my marriage my husband went behind my back and read my journal. Worse yet as he didn't like what he had read he took it away and hid it from me. I didn't find it again for a couple of years. I hope that you can find a way through this very painful time, for me it ended up being a primary factor in ending our marriage.
     
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  5. A concerned spouse

    A concerned spouse Active Member

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    Okay, I'm probably going to totally piss off some sufferers here and I apologize if I do. I would like to give a different perspective fro a supporter. First, I do believe he crossed the line in reading your journey. He crossed a very firm boundary. But that being said, we have all crossed a boundary sometime or another in our life. We are all human and we all make mistakes.

    Confession: My husband doesn't have a journal but if he did I would flat out tell him to hide it under lock and key because I'm sorry to confess I would be tempted to read it. Why? Because ad a supporter we truly don't understand what you as a sufferer is going through. We don't understand when something we see as trivial can trigger you into a fast and furious spiral. It's like being sucker punched in the face so hard it makes you pass out without any warning. Suddenly the one we love is off limits and we stand there scratching our heads. . . Trying so hard to understand why.

    If ever given the opportunity to just get a glimpse inside your heads, most of us would love that. I understand it's something a sufferer can't do but it's still a hope we have. If we could understand just a little more, then maybe we wouldn't feel so unloved, confused, scared and all those horrible insecurities that loving someone with PTSD has created in us.

    My sufferer has crossed my boundries and I truly forgive because I know I have crossed his boundaries at times too. Living with and loving someone with PTSD is hard on both supporters and suffereres. We both experience different emotions but none of us asked or deserve this.

    I would hope I would never cross the boundary of reading my husbands journal but I would be tempted, just to get a glimpse of what he is thinking but then again maybe its best if I dont know. PTSD just down right sucks for everyone involved. I pray you find it in your heart to forgive because he sounds like he reallt loves you.
     
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  6. Junebug

    Junebug I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    I totally agree with @A concerned spouse , it's so lucky to have someone who cares at all, and though he shouldn't have read it, to also forgive despite what he read- I often fear if I died and even a relative saw what I wrote here without context and totality they'd feel so bad. And that make me horrified. :( (ETA, because she might think I didn't love her, or blamed her, or blamed her for being sick herself, or she could even feel guilty., or bad about herself. Etc. And none of those are how I feel or how I'd want her to feel. Worse than even hating me, I fear she'd think I didn't love her. :( ). Being in both roles I can see 2 sides. (But I say this as a sufferer.)

    I think working on your marriage is as important as therapy- since the point of therapy is real life.

    I say all this gently- not to offend- I think it's wonderful he opened up to you, when you love someone you want them to heal too. I wish you both healing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  7. Searching4Self

    Searching4Self Active Member

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    @A concerned spouse and @Junebug thank you for bringing up the other side. My T said about as much—that he obviously loves me but sometimes he operates out of fear or sheer panic. In this case it is fear that he is missing out on something.

    He is so afraid of not getting enough. Enough what? Love, I guess? When I distance myself (because I’m trying to sort out or rebuild my emotional life) he panics which can cause poor choices and immature behavior on his part.

    For his part he has agreed to go see a therapist, a male therapist, with the intention of learning how to be a better supporter for his wife and understand the therapeutic process.

    He now is trying to re-connect with me, like asking for hugs. I feel conflict because I know he is so desperate for my affection that I feel like I can’t say no without him going into a tailspin. Fortunately I was able to voice this concern yesterday. I am grateful that he wants to try to grow and develop his maturity, but I do not feel a sense of intimacy toward him at all right now.

    The biggest loss for me is the inner child work. For some reason that part of me that he read about seems to be what I am most ashamed about. My stuffed toy that I was sleeping with is gone, I kind of want to destroy it. My T said, “Name-of-toy-which-hurts-too-much-to-say did NOTHING wrong!” Just hearing her say the name and talk about her as if she were alive made me feel anger toward my husband and myself. Toward my husband for breaking the spell with his betrayal and toward myself for “getting carried away.”

    I know that I have to commit to myself for therapy to work. I have to decide that I’m worth it. That might mean that I need to try to revisit the inner child work despite my fear and disgust which is rising up. I acknowledge that I wasn’t ready to share my inner child work with my husband, but it is a part of the therapeutic process for some people and where is the shame in that? Why am I so opposed to my husband knowing about the inner child work? Why does that bother me the most? Maybe because of the vulnerability. I guess I don’t want to be *that* vulnerable around my husband. Should I try to be? Maybe.
     
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  8. A concerned spouse

    A concerned spouse Active Member

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    My husband has PTSD from childhood. He had a horrific childhood. We've been married for 35 years and I know very little what he endured. Like you, he does not shar ed these things with me. I don't know why but it's okay. It's taken me a very long time to not take it personally. So don't share your trauma with anyone unless that's what YOU want to do. Your husband will get much better in therapy. I know I did and get stronger everyday. He will learn that it's not that you don't love him because you don't talk to him about your trauma. . . He will learn it's because you can't and the T will m ad me him be okay with that.

    Being a supporter can be devastating if we don't learn the behaviors that consume our sufferere s. We tend to take it personally and feel abandoned and unloved. It's not you . . . It's the illness. But when we realize that it's part of PTSD we realize it's not us and a weight is lifted.

    I've been guilty of wanting lots of affection and hugs when my husband avoids and withdraws. I just want him to know he's loved and when he's not talking to me I used to panic, get paranoid and so insecure that I was literally falling to pieces on the inside.

    Through therapy I've realized that by suffocating my sufferer, I've actually pushed him further away. See we don't understand because we do not walk in your shoes. You dont understand because you dont walk in our shoes. We all do a lot of assuming what we think is best for one another but we get it wrong most of the time. Thats why therapy for both sufferers and supporters is vital. Knowledge is power.

    Just try your best to be patient with him and yourself. None of us asked for this . . . It's no ones fault. But relationships can thrive. I know this has actually made me a better person. God bless!
     
    Searching4Self likes this.
  9. scout86

    scout86 I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    This is also a kind of transference, the way I understand it. This came up with my T, when Nancy Reagan died. Looking at the pictures of her, I realized that the reason I always found her "creepy" was that she reminded me of my mother. I mentioned this to my T and he said, "Yeah. That's 'transference'. When your feelings about one person get attached to someone else, because you see some similarity."

    So, maybe past events has an effect on your feelings about present events? And, maybe it's useful to sort out which is what?
     
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  10. Searching4Self

    Searching4Self Active Member

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    @A concerned spouse Thank you for that very thorough and meaningful response. I think the last part where you said, “Just try your best to be patient with him and yourself,” rang especially clear. We are both having tantrums, of sorts, asking, “Why can’t I...?!” We both have to stand up and heal from shame when what we want to do is run or hide or fight. It’s no one’s fault but we are still responsible for our behavior.

    I recognize that this boundary rupture caused feelings of collapse, shame, rage, and helplessness. I acknowledge that facing each of those feelings requires bravery. I have to be brave to accept myself again. I have to be brave to still be able to say no, when I feel obligated to say yes. I have to be brave to allow the healing to happen in its own time instead of trying to push it forward.

    I have to be grateful for my partner’s attempts, no matter how clunky, to connect.
     
  11. Searching4Self

    Searching4Self Active Member

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    @scout86 I think this transference, from my dad onto my husband, is a big part of why I’m avoiding him so much, and he senses it unconsciously. Ironically, it was his boundary crossing that gathered up all those feelings toward my dad. He most hated the idea that I saw him like my father, and I didn’t...until he did that! So he embodied his fear and drove me away, but what he was actually seeking was connection.

    As he takes responsibility for his actions, the transference releases. The more mature and adult-like he acts, the less he is connected with my dad, emotionally.
     
    scout86 likes this.
  12. A concerned spouse

    A concerned spouse Active Member

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    One thing my T bright up is that we tend to think of all the horrible things PTSD has done to us and it leaves us all bitter, resentful, hopeless and confused. He told me to go home and when I looked at my husband, or thought about him, he wanted me to remember a happy memory and think of all the great qualities in him (we all have them). If a negative thought came up, I was to replace it with a good one.

    This opened my eyes to the f az c.f. that I allowed PTSD to cause me to always think the worse. I fought with the bad things replaced them with good thoughts of him (at first a battle) but now it's become natural. And it's changed me. It's changed him. I look at him with a happy and content heart now. I no longer let PTSD define who my husband is.

    Just so you know. You will get through This, he will get through this and someday you will look back and be happy you went through this because it made you, him and your relationship stronger. Just don't forget to take a deep breath in and just breath!
     
  13. Junebug

    Junebug I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    That's beautiful @A concerned spouse . Thank you for sharing that.
     
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