Sometimes a Step Backward is Forward Progress

One of the most incredibly difficult things I had to learn on this journey to help my wife heal is that sometimes/often I have to give up my “rights” as a husband before healing is possible in my wife’s heart.

Here’s my side of the story. For the first 15 years of my marriage, Alexis the defender (now Alley my girlfriend) would essentially tell me my needs were only valid if they coincided with hers, Karen’s. (Remember at this point she wasn’t outside, so she just used Karen’s voice.) But somehow 15 years into the marriage, Karen finally realized I had legitimate needs as her husband, and so she began to try to meet them. Things were finally getting better from my perspective. Yippee!

But then in the 20th year of our marriage, after Karen had begun therapy trying to deal with the fallout from her csa and the insiders began to join our life, our marriage “crashed.” I saw all the gains in our marriage “disappear” as the desperately needy inside girls entered my life. I loved these girls who were part of my wife’s core and vowed to do NOTHING that would traumatize them, but on a personal level I thought my hope of a mutually fulfilling marriage was slipping away from my grasp. It felt like I was being held underwater, and I my lungs were screaming for air. For the first couple of months as I courted the littles outside and realized what this would mean to my own needs, I cried every night at work and on my walk home from work: heart-wrenching, snot-running-down-my-face, unable-to-breath, fall-on-the-floor crying. I felt like I had literally lost the few things that were deeply important to me in the marriage.

But sometimes you gain by letting go…

I have a goal for my marriage. I want a “normal,” emotionally well-adjusted wife when we are done on this journey, but that means I have to meet the insiders’ needs for safety. Period! I am willing to do that no matter how it affects my needs at this moment. However, this stance is made more difficult when the needs of the host (my wife) are in sync with my needs, but these needs would be harmful to one of the insiders. I always tell each of my girls that I will NEVER play one girl against another. So I have to be the impassionate third party when there is disagreement within the network no matter what my needs might dictate on the subject.

So last year Karen and I were celibate for 7 months while Alley worked on getting healed until she, Alley, felt everyone in the network would be safe any time Karen and I engaged in sexual activities. Those 7 months hurt like hell. Suicidal and running-away thoughts screamed in my head, but I have a long-term goal and we will NEVER have a healthy sex-life together until ALL the girls feel safe anytime we engage in it. So, one agonizing step backwards to keep us moving forward. Now when Karen and I are intimate, the entire network of girls feels safe. That’s real healing.

And just recently Alley expressed another need. I will maintain her right to privacy, but it again involves me giving up something I have every right as a husband to enjoy. Inside I hurt when she expressed this need that she has, but long-term it is critical for Alley to learn to enjoy this “activity” for herself, at her pace…even though Karen enjoys it. So I’m ready to take another step back to give my girls the space they need to really heal.

Remember, it’s not enough for your spouse, the host, to enjoy something. If an adult activity(sexual or otherwise) is unpleasant to any of the insiders, that activity will always be resisted at some level (the place that insider occupies in the core personality) even if full co-consciousness or integration is eventually achieved. I want my wife to be fully, emotionally healthy throughout her entire being when we are done on this journey. So I have chosen to elevate the needs of each insider and the host (my wife) over my own at this point in time. When I give up my rights in the short-term, I’m depositing true healing in my wife’s spirit for the long term. It’s not always easy to do, but I think it will be worth it in the end.


Sam, I Am

Dissociative identity disorder, dissociation, multiple personality disorder


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kat & Co
    May 21, 2011 @ 16:17:14

    we’re crying. we wish he could be like this. but he cant cope with it. it makes him too angry. we make him too angry.


    • Sam Ruck
      May 21, 2011 @ 18:55:59

      I’ve been thinking about you ladies, wishing I could help. Do you and “your” husband have any one outside that you both respect who could help you get thru this impasse? Since you read this post, I spent the first year dealing with the sorrow, anger and bitterness over having lost my young adult life (I’m 44 now) to a “dysfunctional” wife. So there weren’t only tons of tears on my side, but also a lot of anger and sharp words that I directed at Karen (never at the little girls who I never blamed for not acting like a woman since they weren’t). Anyway, the worst thing that all my girls did in my opinion is insist that this all be kept a secret so I struggled along on my own the best I could. I poured my anger and tears out into my daily journal that is now almost 1600 pages long. But I wish I had had SOMEONE to help me thru that stage because until he gets control of his raging emotions and hormones, you girls are going to feel too vulnerable to really do any healing.

      For me I kind of came down to this conclusion. I could rant, rage and continue to hurt my wife with the venom I was pouring out at her and this would only lengthen the healing time (if it EVER happened), OR I could have a more pragmatic view: the quickest way to me getting what I wanted (a healthy wife who would be able to take care of me like I took care of her) was to do WHATEVER it took to help her and the little girls heal. I could also kill myself (“til death do us part” stuff) or I could runaway and start over, but unless I did one of those, truly the ONLY smart decision for me, if I was going to stay in the marriage, was the one I took.

      Someone (NOT you) needs to help him see that the ONLY way for him to get what he wants from his marriage to you at this point is the decision I made. I love my wife (host and insiders). So I either get on board and help them heal or I at least love them enough not to destroy them with my anger and venom for something that was NOT their fault and leave them. We’re all selfish at some point: we all have legitimate needs that need satisfied. I see alot of ladies on wordpress whose husbands never really get on board and help them heal, and they limp along much, much longer through the healing process. These men are self defeating in my opinion. They are incredibly short sighted. They could “handle” the DID if they wanted. It’s a cop out to say they can’t…




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