Return to Forum List

Return to I Can Relate® > I Can Relate

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part II

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50

Abbondad posted 4/30/2013 09:27 AM

Hello Everyone,

Some of you probably know me from the other forums. I am finally posting here as our saga (as I keep referring to it) is very relevant to this forum.

I am also posting here because my WW has abruptly refused to continue therapy to confront her issues.

I will try to be as concise as possible. I hope for some insights. Thanks in advance.

My wife was repeatedly sexually abused by her step-grandfather when she around 15/16 years old. She coped with the trauma for many years by, in her words, "splitting"--living two selves, one a child and one an adult. (Or at least this was one manifestation of the splitting.).

In subsequent years she was never alone without a man. But she went from boyfriend to boyfriend, each one unable to meet the needs of both the adult and the little damaged girl.

Finally she met me and we married and had two children. We were happy. But looking back, we had a "daddy/child" dynamic in most ways. Everyday interactions, but especially sexually, to the point where she lapsed into little girl voice and behavior when we had sex. I went along with it willingly, but to me it was only role playing. I realize now that for her it went much deeper. I WAS the daddy who she felt safe with but it was unhealthily intwined with sex.

Then around two years ago I made the mistake of my life, one that will haunt me for the rest of my life. In a time of stress from kids and work and subsequent detaching from each other, in an attempt to spice up our sex life (which was good, but a little worn from the years), I urged her to have some sexual experiences with men and tell me about it. This excited us both and she agreed. NOTE: had she said no, I would have dropped it immediately. But my wife has always had boundary issues and an inability to say say no to those she loved and who loved her.

Her other deep issue is a terrible fear of abandonment.

The "rule" was that these experiences must only be with those whom she would never see again, lest she become emotionally involved them.

What happened was predictable in hindsight. She started a sexual relationship with a coworker and began a deep emotional affair that has lasted for two years, which has been two years of hell for me and for her.

We are on the brink of divorce. She is unable to detach from him, and she has detached from me. The revelation she has come to is this: she has reenacted the trauma from her childhood abuse. She has "split" her worlds. She has attached to this man as an adult but remains attached to me as her daddy. However, I have become not the daddy who is safe, but the daddy who has betrayed her sexually. Her splitting, her compartmentalization, has been dramatic to see. She would go to him (unbeknownst to me) and come home to me and our family with no discernible personality difference or disruption to our lives. Family trips, loving moments, great sex life. Her affair came as an utter shock.

She understands what has happened to her and wants to be with me but, as she says, she just "Cannot come back to me emotionally, with trust and safety." Nor can she leave this man.

She has tried to break off contact with this man but is unable to. She does not trust herself not to abruptly leave me for good and run to him as her "savior," away from the daddy who sexually betrayed her.

As for myself, I simply cannot continue with HER betrayals, even as I understand her terrible trauma and how it has manifested, as well as my role in it. She continues to blame me for the whole thing and is terribly angry with me.

I would prefer to save our marriage.

She is in agony over being abandoned by this man (even though she has been the one trying to end it) while at the same time begs me not to divorce, her fear of abandonment just as strong with me.

There is more, but that is the basic narrative. Is there any best path out of this? Can she recover and begin a new healthy relationship with me? Can this be undone?

Any insights/thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated.

catlover50 posted 4/30/2013 12:32 PM

Sorry, abbondad; that is tough. I would think that heavy duty counseling is in order all around. Dealing with sexual abuse can take years of therapy, and with what she is dealing with now, even more.

Did you know about her abuse history when you suggested that she sleep with other men?

Would she ultimately be happier with her AP? Is that even a possibility?

I feel for you, but I also feel for your wife.

Therapy, therapy, therapy.

Abbondad posted 4/30/2013 13:13 PM

Thank you, Catlover.

Yes I did know her history when I asked her. But it did not even cross my mind that this would stir up any of it or be relevant in any way. I was uneducated about the psychology of adult survivors of CSA. And she agreed and assured me she had no problem with it and indeed was enthusiastic. As I have said it is the mistake (for want of a better word) of my life. And this is why I have stuck out her infidelity for so long--because of my part in it. It's so hard to absolve myself of some responsibility and just throw her out as most have suggested (meaning well and coming from a place of caring).

Yes it is possible that she would be happier with the other man. Possibly. And of course that adds an extra layer to my pain.

I am trying to persuade her to return to therapy.

catlover50 posted 4/30/2013 14:04 PM

Best of luck to you both. This is really heavy shit.

64fleet posted 5/2/2013 14:18 PM

Since dday I have found out my fWW was sexually abused as a child. She had told me of once her uncle put his hand under her towel as a teen-now I find out he molested her from about age 6 or so until about 11 maybe.
Do other abused women ask if their husband has tried anything with say, their young nieces, etc? This creeps me out that she did this. I'm no pedophile.

caspers1wish posted 5/3/2013 09:37 AM

Do other abused women ask if their husband has tried anything with say, their young nieces, etc? This creeps me out that she did this. I'm no pedophile.

The abuse shattered my ability to trust any man, especially when my abuser was my dad, the one man who should protect me from all others. I also experienced sexual abuse from my older brother and my sister's boyfriend. When a child is hurt by the adults in their life that are supposed to shield them from harm, love them and look out for them, you are going to grow up thinking anyone is capable of it.

I have 3 girls under the age of 10, when my oldest was young, I worried a lot. That I was letting my husband be alone with her too much, maybe he shouldn't be bathing her, or tucking her in at night, all the times I was abused and opportunities my dad had, came rushing back at me in those early years of new motherhood. I would ask my husband if he would ever abuse our kids. And I felt horrible for remaining suspicious even if he would assure me he'd never do that. My dad lied to my mother, and she stupidly believed him, and loved him. The thought that the man I desperately loved would hurt my kids, I finally felt what it must have felt like for my mom all those years. That conflict and wanting to be in denial about it. I didn't want to think such a thing would be possible, what would I do? Did I really want to be my mother?

I was terrified the first time my daughter had a blood in her underwear due to the itching and pain of UTI as a toddler, and with girls, it's so very common. I was humiliated in the doctor's office when they assured me there were no signs of sexual abuse, protocol for them to say, but I was terrified it might be true, terrified I was giving off some sex abuse vibe, terrified of just being confronted with those words.

I couldn't help being accusatory, in a panic, and scared. My husband was patient and calm and reassuring. He admitted that because of my past, he is overly aware of how he cares for our girls. Overly conscious about things he didn't think he'd ever have to think or worry about if he were with someone who was not a survivor. His understanding that he knew where my fears and worries came from, really has helped me see that no, not all dads abuse their daughters, not all men are bad, there are those who are willing and do earn your trust.

For me, no man, or woman, is trusted around my children, especially alone, unless they have first come under the "microscope" so to speak. I don't blindly trust, especially in the case of "family" after learning early on that family tends to be the most untrustworthy, and those few who I do trust the most, like my in-laws or very good friends, they know of my past.

Sex abusers do not go about advertising their crimes. They operate in utmost secrecy. I think it's a way to test someone, see how they react, gauge a reaction, a litmus test for survivors to question those closest to us. We simply can't just trust without trying to verify first.

64fleet posted 5/3/2013 12:53 PM

thanks, caspers. I am rarely alone with my daughter, and I don't go into her room. It saddens me that I have to stay clear of her for fear of accusation.

caspers1wish posted 5/3/2013 19:48 PM

I think that is sad, too actually. I had triggers and suspicions to deal with in the beginning. He had his own set of fears, too. Sharing them with each other, talking it out, we were able to work through it so that he could be as much a part of his children's lives as any other father, that there was no need to distance himself, that he's capable of healthy love for his daughters and is free to show it.

Being with a survivor does not mean you deny yourself a close relationship with your daughter. Do not let your wife's abuser rob you of the father you can be and the one your own daughter needs.

Hugs to you.

courageous posted 5/5/2013 23:03 PM

Something very disturbing happened yesterday and I don't really know what to think of it....

I was making out with my SO yesterday and 2 thoughts kept repeating over and over again in my mind. 1. this is THE man I love and want to marry and 2. I wanted him to rape me.

Little background: my exwh forced me to have sex with him for more than 6 years of our marriage. He didn't take no for an answer. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago I realized that what he did was considered rape.

I don't know if I was thinking that thought because of that's how it was with my exwh but it really disturbed me. I'm not in IC and have never been. I guess this just goes to show how badly I need it.

I told SO about my thought and now he wants to talk about it. Plus since he knows of my past abuse he is probably going to not want to be intimate with me until this is figured out.

Does anyone have any suggestions/ ideas of what's going on with me?

64fleet posted 5/6/2013 15:12 PM

Being with a survivor does not mean you deny yourself a close relationship with your daughter

That's kinda hard-she also asked my daughter if I had tried to molest her.

Evidently I'm guilty until proven otherwise.

20WrongsVs1 posted 5/25/2013 20:42 PM

I just saw this thread and read it with interest. I don't expect a quick reply...but I suppose there must be online communities for CSA survivors. Does anyone recommend one?

So much of my fucked-up-ness comes from being molested as a little girl. Luckily, I guess, I suppressed the memory from about age 7-18. Then it all came flooding back, and I remember the tactile feelings, the smells, everything like it was yesterday. Now I have a 6-year-old daughter, and the thought of her being forced to fondle a man's genitals makes me so sick and sad. I won't admit, even anonymously, what I'd like to do to that fucker.

The abuse stopped because, somehow, God reached down and gave me the idea to say "No more" when I was about 7 years old. POS must've been afraid of me, because he never touched me again.

Pretty sure other parts of my brain shut off that day and never woke up. Like, the parts that feel guilt and regret. That's why I've (sort of jokingly) labeled myself as a sociopath. A lot of the characteristics fit.

I worked up the guts to tell my mom about a year ago, and she completely shut down, as if she hadn't heard me. The pedophile POS was my parents' employee and, I'm sure they thought, friend.

My damage isn't a justification for an A, but it helps to know that others have gone through the same thing.

silverhopes posted 5/25/2013 22:04 PM

Pretty sure other parts of my brain shut off that day and never woke up. Like, the parts that feel guilt and regret. That's why I've (sort of jokingly) labeled myself as a sociopath. A lot of the characteristics fit.

I think a person needs to be very careful with self-diagnosis like sociopath. It is very common for survivors to have difficulty regulating emotions, and to "control" the emotions we shut them down so as not to deal and hurt and struggle with them in the first place. It's not always conscious. I think it takes conscious effort to face and address our feelings - not necessarily even feelings associated with the abuse, but feelings in general.

That must have really hurt when your mother shut down. It's not right. Please don't take on her response - I know that such a response is so painful and can even further the trauma by minimizing it, and it can feel like a person who should protect you isn't safe to tell. That's so hard.

Is anyone else reading "The Sexual Healing Journey"? How is it going for you?

courageous posted 5/26/2013 03:12 AM

There are days that I feel completely normal and that I don't need any counseling. Then there are days when I feel completely broken and just want to die.

The way I have learned to handle everything in life is denial and to bottle up my emotions so much that even I have no idea how I feel.

It's been a little over 3 years since I was last raped by exwh. The mental, emotional, and sexual abuse had gone on for the 7 years prior to then. I went to a counselor last week and she focused no the divorce and my anger regarding the OW still in the picture (specially around my kids) but never addressed the abuse he dealt me.

I keep wondering .....was it really not a big of deal then? No one I have talked to in a professional capacity has seemed to want to address it. How do I get help for the abuse when I can't even get the counselor to discuss it?

Someone has suggested calling my local domestic violence shelter for a referral. I just feel to weird the rape doesn't really qualify....after all. I did stay with him for soooo long. I just hate being a bother to anyone.

20WrongsVs1 posted 5/28/2013 16:10 PM

courageous: you are. Have you ever visited the website ?

I'm generally not one who would seek out counseling or therapy, but I'm open to considering it. RAINN has free 24/7 live chat support that I am planning to try when I have time. As a way to dip my toe into the counseling water. If no professional has ever taken your abuse complaints seriously (sorry that sounds awful!) maybe those folks can point you in the right direction.

silverhopes: I haven't diagnosed myself. It's just that I have, in varying degrees, many of the "key characteristics" of sociopathy. But, obviously, yeah, I'm not a clinical sociopath. If I were, I would think I was perfect and didn't need fixing

I just now bought The Sexual Healing Journey on Thanks for the rec. This will be the first book I've read about this topic, ever, and I am terrified but hopeful to finally be digging into that dark past that I've "rugswept" for so long.

windowsnotwalls posted 5/28/2013 16:27 PM

How do I get help for the abuse when I can't even get the counselor to discuss it?

Your phone book should have a number for a local rape crisis center. They provide free counseling for all victims of sexual abuse and trauma. It may be best to see a specialized counselor in one of those settings as opposed to trying to get a "regular" counselor to have a clue. I'm sorry you aren't being heard in IC. Good luck, and keep seeking the help. It's out there.

courageous posted 5/30/2013 23:28 PM

20wrongsvs1: I have visited the website. I'm trying to build up the courage to make the call or use the online outline.

20WrongsVs1 posted 6/11/2013 20:59 PM

Just an update: I'm reading The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz, and it has helped me a lot. Thanks for the rec, silverhopes

Also I used the RAINN "chat counseling" and it was awesome. It really convinced me to get off my butt and find an IC IRL, The person I chatted with was really sharp and helpful.

AppleBlossom posted 6/26/2013 21:13 PM

I would like to share my story. My SO was unfaithful to me by using prostitutes. He was unfaithful to his ex wife in the same manner, as well as having casual relationships with around six women that I am aware of. I cannot categorically say that he only used prostitutes while in a relationship with me, but he has been open and honest about everything, so I will take his word.

My SO was abused by a family member from the age of around 6 until 13. At the age of 15 he met his ex wife, who was 20. They first had sex when he was 15 and in high school and she was 20 and at university. Its only recently that he can see that he went from being abused by an adult as a child to being taken advantage of as a teenager.

After our D Day he addressed the SA and it has been very painful to watch. A driving force of our reconciliation was understanding what the boy in him experienced when he was young, and not being able to leave in him as a friend when he really needed someone. At that point, our relationship was on hold as we worked through those issues together.

He has changed beyond measure, although he is still the same beautiful man that I fell in love with four years ago. Our relationship is close, loving and honest and we have reached a level of understanding that I did not every envisage. The only way I believe we could do this is by him being courageous enough to address this, and for me to be courageous enough to stand by him while he did that.

It has been very, very hard and I have never ever let him use the abuse as an "excuse" for being unfaithful and acting so dishonestly and disrespectfully towards me. He understands that he had a lot of other choices. One huge change he has made is recognising his triggers for wanting to engage in inappropriate sexual practices and finding other ways to deal with that.

As a part of this journey I have come to realise that what I went through as a child was in fact SA and I accept that I modelled this behaviour in my early teens. I also used sex as a way of controlling men in relationships, and connected sex with love and power when it was wrong to do so.

I cry for all those young children that were betrayed and abused, and I wish us all healing and peace.

FR2012 posted 7/14/2013 09:15 AM

I am just wondering for all SAS, how did you come to accept what had happened to you?

I mean I was sexually abused when I was 9. That was 18 years ago, but I still have nightmares about it, I still think about it and it still affects my life to this day because I haven't dealt with it. I just don't know how.

Please tell me how you dealt with it. Help me out.

FR2012 posted 7/16/2013 07:11 AM


Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47 · 48 · 49 · 50

Return to Forum List

Return to I Can Relate

© 2002-2017 ®. All Rights Reserved.