Why Should a Husband Help in the Healing Process?

I write this blog to help other spouses, family members or significant others help their loved one who has DID heal. And yet the stark reality is the overwhelming majority of my little audience are ladies who have DID. I regularly get comments from excited women who love the precepts of my blog and who assure me they are going to show it to their husbands…But I’ve only EVER corresponded with a handful of husbands. Why do the spouses and significant others stay away from this blog? Why are they not interested in helping the one they claim to love? It’s not just that they aren’t reading my blog. From the comments I read, most husbands aren’t reading anything on DID. They act like DID is their wives’ problem and they, the husbands, want nothing to do with helping in the healing process.

Morover, I have plenty of detractors who visit this blog or other blogs in which I make comments and who question my motives. I’m told I must be manipulative, patronizing, abusive, and arrogant among other things.

So what motivates me? Why am I hyper-motivated to help my girls heal when so many men seem to act (if their wives are accurate) as if they want nothing to do with the healing journey?

I was talking with Karen and the other girls about this very subject over the weekend. I was surprised that even Karen has secretly wondered why I am SO involved with the girls to the exclusion of taking care of my own needs. I even have had critics criticize me for NOT taking care of myself enough!  Long live narcissism!

When Karen and I first began this healing journey three years ago, we had 20 years of a loving BUT strained marriage under our belts. We definitely loved each other, but there was a lot of stress from the fallout of her csa. It affected more than just the bedroom though that in itself was a huge, huge issue. I had saved myself for her, only to have that gift trampled by her abusers from the past. I feel/felt cheated to put it very, VERY mildly.

But when the little girls entered our marriage and all of them began dealing with their issues from childhood, it also brought to the surface 20 years of marital stresses for both of us that she had ignored. I was always safe for the little girls, but I had A LOT of anger and bitterness that I directed toward Karen. It was pretty ugly for awhile, and the turbulence in me, as I sought to deal with my disappointments, kept my girls on edge. They had to spend as much time in therapy dealing with the current upheaval in our marriage as the past childhood trauma. In other words, they weren’t making much progress largely because of me. Sigh.

So as I continued to struggle with my emotions and hormones, I realized I had four main options facing me as a husband. 1) I could kill myself and fulfill my marriage vows “until death do us part.” Many, many days I struggled against this option. I still struggle some with the mental picture I have of ending the daily stress that comes from ignoring my needs to help them heal. 2) I could run away figuratively or literally and start a new life. Hey, I know lots of people who have done this for a LOT less reason. Our culture’s glib attitude toward marriage certainly doesn’t help those of us who want to stay married even though things are difficult. 3) I could stay in this marriage, but do nothing to help Karen and the girls heal. “It’s her problem, and I didn’t create it.” Now I’ll admit I never really considered this an option for myself, but as I have talked and listened to so many other women, there seem to be a LOT of husbands out there who have chosen this attitude. To me this seems like choosing to be “unhappy ‘til death does us part.” It’s definitely self-defeating if you ask me. 4) Help my wife heal as quickly and as deeply as possible. This was the option I chose and here’s why.

I don’t think I’m a saint, and I don’t  do what I do because I’m better than the next guy. I told Karen, “I do what I do because I’m pragmatic” i.e. SELFISH. I told her there are two things in my life that I desperately want: a healthy sex life and to help others full-time” (I have a ministry degree that got ignored because of the csa/did issues). And the ONLY way that I have figured out a plan to get both of those goals in a way that is true to my self is to help the woman I love and married 23 years ago. I told her, “I love you and don’t want to divorce you, but I will be forever sad if I don’t achieve these two things.” She understood this wasn’t manipulation.

And that’s why I work so hard, sacrificially hard, rarely-take-a-moment-for-myself hard. Once I realized that sold-out pragmatism was the quickest way to achieving my two deepest needs, I “caught my groove.” A lot of the anger and bitterness (though not all) subsided as I took back control over my life. And it’s a win-win situation for me and the my wife(host and insiders). But it took me writing hundreds and hundreds of pages in my daily journal before I came to this conclusion.

So to the wives who are reading this blog instead of the husbands who ought to be, here is my best suggestion to get your husband on board in the healing process. If you want him to become your best ally instead of being apathetic or even adversarial in your desire to become healthy, you’ve got to figure out “what’s in it” for your husband. I’ve heard wives dejectedly say, “My husband can’t cope.” Bullsh!t. Unless they also have a personality or major emotional disorder, they can cope. They just haven’t realized that their selfishness is currently misdirected: their apathy toward your healing is actually hurting their own needs and goals. So you need to find a way to harness that selfish into a win-win situation for both of you. I counseled one wife not to approach her husband herself but to find a trusted third party who could help the husband see that the quickest way to meeting his needs is to help his wife heal.

We can ignore the elephant in the room or we can harness its great power to do the work we need. Pragmatism. Selfishness. These are the two elephants that drive me incessantly, 24/7, with very little thought to my own needs today. Find the key to your husband’s needs and goals whether he just wants a “happy wife” or he wants a “sex goddess” or any of the myriad other things that drive a person. Then get someone to help turn him into your greatest healing ally. Karen told me a couple of weeks ago that what I do with the other girls is MORE healing than her weekly therapy sessions and online chat groups. A therapist simply can’t be there 24/7 like a husband. And it is the husband or significant other that can truly make or break the healing process. Getting him on board ought to be the first step any DID wife ever takes. Getting help to accomplish that probably will be required.

Blessings.

Sam, I Am

Dissociative identity disorder, dissociation, multiple personality disorder

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ???
    May 26, 2011 @ 03:51:13

    Sigh..
    He practically had to step in doing everything because we always seem to fall apart not able to function at all. And all he wants in return is love and intimacy, i.e. sex. Marriage without sex is not marriage, it’s roommates. His words. When he first found out I am D.I.D., it’s like his dream came true – a dream that all guys, according to him, have, two or more women at the same time. He loved the idea that he can be making love with several of us, as long as ones he makes love with are over 16 and willing. He never took in consideration the part that we were trained to please. He does not now. He is hurting a lot because recently angry hurt one inside told him he is not a good lover, that everything is about him, and that’s why the next day is always hell for both of us. We end up hurt by reminders of previous night, he ends us being blasted.
    To answer your question, though, husbands don’t read because they don’t want to change. They don’t want to give up what they feel is rightfully theirs.
    I don’t see how to turn this into my advantage, how to not get blasted for not wanting to make love, how to stand my ground and not going back to pleasing him even though it costs me, and more accurately, both of us.
    I should not have gotten married. It was my fault. I should have known better. I should not have wanted to believe that sexual love can be wonderful. I don’t think it can ever be. I chose to get married. I fell in love with him, although maybe I cant even claim that, since how do I know what love is after life I had. I made this choice to get married knowing that sex will be involved. So, I have to be responsible for it. I knew what I was getting into. After all, marriage =sex=love. But wait, I am confused, that what I was taught when I was little growing up having sex. So, everything that has happened to me was all right????
    Sorry, a lot of anger here, a lot of it! But I know my hubby is angry and hurt, too. He deserves better that 400 twisted angry no good for nothing personalities here. He deserves better then trying to keep them safe from abusers on daily basis, from vultures who do not leave and circle to wait for opportunity, and then just get anger resentment and no comfort at all, physical or otherwise, just blistering anger and accusation.
    I am sorry for the way I am. I am truly sorry…..
    P.S. Sorry I have not commented in a while, and sorry I keep changing my name. Nowhere is safe. Nowhere!
    But I read each and every time you write…

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      May 26, 2011 @ 22:04:32

      internal chaos

      Hi,
      It’s nice to hear from you again. I’ve been thinking about your
      comment for a couple of hours now. The little I know about your
      life and marriage, I don’t think there’s so much different
      between me and Karen and you two other than your abusers are
      still present. Is there NOTHING you can do about that legally
      or otherwise??? I won’t pry, but to me dealing with these
      abusers would be my number one priority if my girls were still
      under attack even before I dealt with the marital discord since
      your husband doesn’t truly sound abusive, just frustrated big
      time.

      Now to your husband. Do you have a therapist who could help him
      understand what I’m saying? You are both in the middle of this
      and so it’s clouding reality for BOTH of you. He can get what
      he wants and honestly what he has a right to IF he is willing
      to give you’all time to heal. But right now he’s truly taking
      the 3rd option which is to misdirect his selfishness and settle
      for a lifetime of unhappiness for him and you’all.

      You are rightly cynical that husbands don’t want to change, but
      I wonder if it’s because no one has ever sat them down in a
      non-confrontational, non-emotional setting and laid out the
      four options I mentioned the strengths and weaknesses of each
      one and then said, choose the best one for you. Other than
      divorce which is the easiest but not necessarily the best
      option in my opinion, option number 4 truly is the best option
      for BOTH the husband and the wife even though it doesn’t FEEL
      like it. And that’s the problem, men (and women) make an
      emotional, sub-conscious decision to “grasp” for what they want
      (sex at any cost) even though in the long run it will keep them
      away from “sex how it ought to be” (happy, loving, pleasurable)
      for both spouses.

      I wouldn’t promise any man a guaranteed “sex goddess” if he’s
      willing to do what I say, but I’ll be honest, right now one of
      my girls has qualities that make me go hmmm…when she grows up
      she might be just that. BUT if I were to try to MAKE her be
      that NOW before she has had time to heal and mature, I’d just
      be back to where I was before…having sex with a woman who
      hates it, cries during it sometimes, and does everything
      possible to avoid doing it with me. That was never a turn on to
      me.

      So after writing lots and lots in my journal I finally
      concluded a lifetime of frustration on my side and unhappiness
      or both of us was a more unbearable thought than 3-5 years of
      self-denial on my side to give my girls a real chance to heal.
      And 3 years into this, I’m already seeing fruit!!!

      Reply

  2. bunchofpeople
    May 28, 2011 @ 13:54:27

    Motivation is key to getting anything out of life. I’m glad to hear that your motivation is due to selfishness, actually, because I *have* wondered whether you sacrifice your own needs too much —but to hear that such sacrifice is toward a selfish goal, that is good. Selfishness is good, in certain contexts, so long as it harms none. And certainly this particular selfishness of yours is so focused on the betterment of another life that it can hardly be faulted.

    I do hope those days where you consider the suicide option are few and far between — though I do understand the reasoning. You are a good person, and the world needs good people. I would hope that before you reached that point of no return, you would reach out for help for yourself. Because you matter too. 🙂

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      May 28, 2011 @ 14:54:25

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s really hard right now. Things were moving quickly, and then I think Karen got scared of all the changes (even though they are positive and necessary to final healing) so Alley slooooowed things down. I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. But for me there’s only so much I can do. No matter how much I work to make them feel safe, loved and wanted in the end the forward progress is up to them.

      Sam

      Reply

  3. the secret keeper
    Jun 12, 2011 @ 04:10:51

    i just wanted to say hi! read this post and want to read more. my partner is a woman who i;ve lived with for over 35 yrs. we have been through everything. some pretty bad stuff. the did/mpd really screwed things up esp. when the alters acted out but with permission on many of those occasions. the childhood abuse really messed me up for being an adult and making good decisions. s. my partner got tired of the behavior and listened to too many friends who did not like us. want to talk more. very complicated. hope you subscribe to my blog. i did with yours. want to get to know more when i am a wake. on new m-d meds started thursday. never sleep enough. want to know more. want to share more. what to here more what others have to say. i think you are brave and wonderful to show the kind of support you do and giving the sense of security you do. that is what i need.felt i had but afraid to check out to get reassurance. well until another day thanks for reaching out to me/us. it can be crazy. su loca. sometimes i think. jen.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 13, 2011 @ 00:22:42

      Hi,

      I’m so glad you stopped by my blog. I worked very hard to bring the insiders into my family and my life. As a result (I think) NONE of my girls have ever acted up. They know I love them without reservations and so they want to please me. I’m not saying things were never hard. But if you look back through some of my older posts you’ll see some of the struggles but also the things I did to help move my girls along the healing path.

      Sam

      Reply

  4. shen
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 23:36:06

    I’m another of those women you were talking about. I peak in here from time to time. This time I thought I would throw my theory into the mix.

    I think you may be kind of an enigma.

    I think it’s possible that women with DID – because of their need to feel safe and their consequent need to keep some things private/secret (at least pre-therapy) – would choose men who are not going to pry too deeply into their lives. While my husband is very loving and extremely supportive of my healing, he never pries into that realm. Thats part of who he’s always been. I couldn’t have had a relationship with someone who would keep me from being the “free spirit” I have always been – moody switchy, etc. – and I couldn’t have married someone who would have judged me and expected explanations of my sometimes unexplanable behavior.

    So – it makes sense that this same guy can’t change his own nature to one of more active concern in the middle of the game.

    Just a thought… what do you think?

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 14, 2011 @ 01:11:36

      Hi Shen,

      thanks for stopping by again. It sounds like your marriage is working for you and your husband is supporting you exactly how you want and need it. And that is GREAT!

      I wanted a soulmate when I got married, but I very quickly learned that my wife did NOT desire that from me. What you and other ladies would call prying, I thought was simply wanting to have NO secrets between us. But over the years I’ve learned to respect my wife’s desire for privacy even though it personally is VERY disappointing to me.

      And on this healing journey my wife (host and insiders) continue to DEMAND their privacy surrounding “therapy issues.” From time to time I ask to know more and I’m always given the same response (no). Karen told me even though what I do is MORE healing than what her therapist does I would lose that if I adopted a more therapist-oriented role. She thinks what I do as the little girls’ daddy and boyfriend by supplying what they never had in the past is the element that is so healing.

      You may be right that a man can’t necessarily change his “nature.” My needs and desires are still the same and it still hurts like hell to not have them met. BUT I have learned to change my actions because of what I shared in this post.

      I really am happy that you and your husband work well together. I have run into a few other couples that also support each other well, and none of them have identical relationships to my girls and me. But from what I read here on wordpress our marriages are the exception not the rule.

      Blessings.

      Sam

      Reply

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