I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Seeking One Trusting Relationship

"I want one person—just one person—I can trust and rely on." I wonder how many times I've heard men say those words. It's not a bad desire; it's just not enough.

We need others, but no relationship provides everything. A number of men refer to their wives as their best friend. That bothers me because it usually means that their spouses must carry all their emotional baggage, and they become everything the man requires.

No one—not a single person—fulfills every shortfall. It's a terrible burden to lay on someone and to expect them to be that perfect individual—the flawless, infallible one.

A healthier way is to build several relationships. Seek for those worthy-of-trust individuals. Be to them what you want them to offer you.

For example, I have one friend who is a marvelous listener. He rarely offers advice, but it's obvious to me that he's there for me.

Another friend lovingly tells me the things I don't want to know about myself. That is, when I open up to him, he often intuits meaning behind my words and actions. When he points them out, I'm able to see different parts of myself—what I call my shadow or backside. I'm grateful for him.

A third friend is easy to talk to and it's just as easy for me to listen to what he says.

All three are important—and there are a few others—because each provides something I need.

But not one of them provides everything.

2 comments:

CHERRILYNN BISBANO said...

Very insightful. My prayer is that each of us would have friends like this. But most of all, be a friend like one mentioned in your post. Listening is such a vital role in a friendship. Thank you for your heart.

Andrew Schmutzer said...

Thanks for the reminders. My wife doesn't need to carry as much of my pain as she does (thank God!). There are other KINDS of friends that we as men need--great point! But until a certain point of healing is achieved, these various kinds of friends can be threatening, until we recognize that we really need this diversity of input for our healing. Thanks!