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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part II

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joeboo posted 8/12/2012 22:48 PM

Is she willing to discuss the abuse with you?
Yes/No. She has referred to it, but does not discuss it. I don't press her for details, and she doesn't offer to discuss. She has a problem with lying to anyone about anything and everything, especially if she feels it might make her look bad, so I am not sure if she would discuss it with an IC honestly.

It sounds as if a qualified counselor could help her. I think I need to learn more about this so I have adequate information to encourage her to get help.

This book was helpful for me
Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child
By Laura Davis
Thank you for the book recommendation. This sounds like a great place to start.

atsenaotie posted 8/13/2012 09:13 AM

MSK99 asked:

Does anyone have any history/information/research on a linkage between being sexually molested and being a wayward later in life?

Not a linkage, but it certainly was a factor for FWW. She was SAb and raped as an adolescent. These are among the factors in her FOO that led to her not forming emotionally intimate connections. As she explained it in MC, she wore an emotional body condom to keep anyone (including me) from getting inside and connecting. She was much more comfortable with her AP relationships because except for one of them, they did not want a deep emotional connection. The one who did want more of a commitment from her she dumped hard.

Her history also figures into our relationship. My primary love language is touch, and after sex, I feel deeply connected and loved. For FWW sex is a fun physical activity, nothing more, no emotional connection. Sex with her AP was fine because she could "be in control" scheduling it when she wanted, they finished and that was that. Now as we are trying to R I know she is trying to be better with touching and sex, but it is a huge struggle. Sex 3x a month is good for us, but usually once a month or less. This leaves me frustrated and feeling rejected even though I can rationalize the reasons. FWW is very good at noticing my emotions, and when I feel rejected, she feels rejected and withdraws. Pre dday this led to her looking for affirmation outside the M, and post dday I still worry we will not survive over the long haul.

In addition, she has been deeply ashamed of her past and unwilling to share much of it with me until after dday. She feared, and I believe still fears, that if I knew who she really was I would leave her.

So not necessarily a if this then that relationship between SA and adultery, but it certainly contributed to the environment in my M.


atsenaotie posted 8/13/2012 09:18 AM


Yes/No. She has referred to it, but does not discuss it.

I don't press her for details, and she doesn't offer to discuss. She has a problem with lying to anyone about anything and everything, especially if she feels it might make her look bad, so I am not sure if she would discuss it with an IC honestly.

This very much describes my situation with FWW. For a long time I felt this was OUR problem and frustrated that I had to rely on her alone to "fix" it. I now see this as her problem to manage in a way that OUR relationship provides more positive than negatives.

FWW says that her 1+ year IC helped with many things including helping her to forgive herself for her SAb and rape. While our day-to-day relationship is better than pre-dday, it still lacks emotional and physical intimacy. This is a problem for me, and either I will have to adjust and settle, she will have to push through her issues related to sex and intimacy, or we are not going to make it.


FR2012 posted 8/14/2012 21:21 PM

I am glad there is a thread like this.

I am a sexual abuse survivor.

I was molested when I was about 9 years old by a neighbourhood friend. It happened once with him. I talked to a detective a couple days later and he was never seen after that in the neighbourhood. I never got any kind of therapy for it. My mom kept it on the down low. Never spoke of it with me. I had to deal with it all on my own.

The second incidence was my mom's fiance. Didn't molest me but did touch me inappropriately. My mom quickly got rid of him after that.

esposa posted 8/14/2012 21:32 PM

I think I stay because my husband was abused as a child. His affair was complete and utter insanity. He is in therapy working on the abuse issues, but sometimes I wonder what is in this relationship for me. Where do I fit in?

I am very supportive of his process. I have much compassion. But should he get a free pass??? So confused sometimes.

NothngElseMattrs posted 8/14/2012 22:36 PM

While it is sad to see that this affects so many people, it does bring a sense of community to this thread. Thank you to all abuse survivors and spouses that are here looking for answers and support. It is my sincere hope that we all find peace.

atsenaotie, some of the things you said touched on some issues between me and my WH/BH.

My primary love language is touch, and after sex, I feel deeply connected and loved. For FWW sex is a fun physical activity, nothing more, no emotional connection. Sex with her AP was fine because she could "be in control" scheduling it when she wanted, they finished and that was that

My second love language is touch, but I struggle with sex. Sometimes to me it is just a fun physical activity, while my H.. for him it has been sometimes the only way to express/receive love from me (partially due to his Sex Addiction). It is really hard to give up control as a survivor of abuse. Sometimes it seems like we must take control any way we can get it, even if it's over something trivial in our daily lives (I don't mean sex, I'm not saying sex is trivial.. it is absolutely not). I know the need for control has carried over into somewhat OCD behaviors in me.

Have yall discussed what the ideal for you and the ideal for her is as to frequency of quality, meaningful sex together? Your expectations for sex? My H and I are still working on our issues, but in the past, having conversations *not* in the bedroom about our expectations for sex has been helpful. What brings your wife that deep emotional connection, if it isn't sex?

esposa- your H should not get a free pass. His past CSAb does not excuse his A, but it very likely colored the person he is today and his thought processes/ feelings. Is the only reason you stay out of not wanting to abandon him because he has suffered trauma? Maybe you could journal about this. Is your H trying to use his abuse and what he wrongly assumed to be an A on your part (from what your profile says) as "permission"?

caspers1wish posted 8/15/2012 11:51 AM


Welcome to SI. I read your thread in the other forum. Survivors tend to have extremely poor boundaries, and you've had your boundaries violated as a child, and then received no help in processing that and ensuring that you built them back up. Something to think about as you work on the past and present.


I have often felt that my BH went easy on me because of my past traumas. You can still be supportive, but I think it's important that you establish your own sense of self and self-respect, lead by example, survivors need good examples of what self respect looks like.

Your husband's past does not trump your feelings. That sets you up that your feelings will always be secondary to his. You can still be supportive, but it doesn't mean you stuff your own hurt and pain, it doesn't mean his destructive actions don't get addressed. Unless he's truly mentally ill, he's not fragile and too weak. He won't crack, and if he's giving indications that he might buckle under facing what he's done (been there done that), let me say it's completely manipulative.

I don't know how far out of dday you are or how long your husband has been in therapy. If it's been recent, he may need some time to get to a point that he's healthy enough to work on marital issues. It doesn't mean you have to wait until he's ready. It's vital you have your own support in this as much as he does.

atsenaotie posted 8/15/2012 13:41 PM

Hi NothingElseMatters,

Have yall discussed what the ideal for you and the ideal for her is as to frequency of quality, meaningful sex together? Your expectations for sex?

We have, even with the MC. For her, she would be fine never having sex again (her words), but says she things 1 - 2x a month is reasonable. I would like sex 1-2x a week, but find myself accepting 1x a month or less. We have discussed touching other than sex, but that does not happen much either (1-2x a month) and doing things together, but she complained of feeling smothered or obligated to do things with me.

What brings your wife that deep emotional connection, if it isn't sex?

She says words of affirmation and acts of service, but the reality is these are things she likes, not things that bring a deep emotional connection. Just now typing this the reality I have known for a while has sunk in. FWW does not (cannot?) form deep / intimate emotional conections. They frighten her, she fears she will lose control of her. This is why she is happy in a marriage that is like a friendship, and was satisfied with A relationships.


OnceWasEnough posted 8/15/2012 20:53 PM


It may be in your WW's best interest mentally and physically to address her abuse with an IC who specilizes in SAB.

For me, my first mistake was to not address my WH's issues over 20 years ago in the aftermath of his first A. Yes, he had some IC, however he was not honest with his therapist and did not reveal any of his history with his father. (What I knew at that time was very limited).

Jump forward 23 years later, another A and suddenly WH hits rock bottom and his true history is revealed to me. Those compartments in his brain were repressing many events he chose not to deal with. The constant lying was so damaging to our marriage.....

I got him in touch with a very specalized therapist dedicated to men with a history of childhood sex abuse. The therapist worked with him for the next year, eventually transferring him into group therapy with other men with similar histories.

He should still be in that therapy but we had to move due to a job change (his) and FWH has no desire to "start over" as he calls it with another therapist.

I still cannot say what our future might be, there are other issues he refuses to address that I need and have asked for many times.

1. Ask me to marry him again,
2. Buy me a new wedding ring,
3. Renewal of marriage vows on a new date,

I have given myself a deadline of 7/1/2013. If none of the three items occurs, I'm on to a new life.

NothngElseMattrs posted 8/15/2012 21:41 PM

Ats, I read your profile.

Your W connected sexually with the OMs. But she would be fine never having sex again? I don't know how old you two are, but perhaps she is having hormonal issues? Is she depressed? On AD's?

Why do you think she has chosen R?

From your posts, it sounds like she just does not know how to be. I am familiar with this feeling and have felt it before. The only way I overcame periods of extreme disorientation in my life, pre- and post-D-Day, as well as even before I met Mr NEM, I would have some kind of triggered epiphany where I just decided I was sick of slogging through life, just surviving. I would have moments of clarity where it was abundantly apparent to me that I was wasting my life by living it the way that I was.

I really do think it was somewhat related to depression and chemical/hormonal imbalance. Stopping taking some of my medications helped significantly with this, and I noticed a personality change.

Has your W started/stopped/changed any of her meds recently? Is it possible that this has happened that you are not aware of?

atsenaotie posted 8/15/2012 22:15 PM


All of the above.

I am low 50's, FWW is 7 years older than me, and recent hysterectomy. During her As she worked out, shopped at Ann Taylor, and got her hair and nails done. Now she shops at Macy and Penny's, no longer gets her nails done, no longer works out, and hair 1 every couple of months.

FWW started taking testosterone shots and she thought they helped her more than I did, but she stopped them and "keeps meaning" to schedule another. She self medicates a lot with Xanax and other drugs, goes on and off her antidepressants that she insists are only for weight control.

To me she is very negative, about her job, other people, everything; and this is after more than a year of IC that has really helped.

I think this is just who she is. Afraid/incapable of a committed relationship, seeing sex as an obligation, and comfortable with the status quo because she worries what others will think or say if we divorce. Worries how she will care for herself (I earn 2.5x her salary).

I have always been safe for her. I take care of things. I understand if she put kids or family, or job ahead of me. She has said I make her normal. Being normal is a big deal to her.


NothngElseMattrs posted 8/15/2012 22:45 PM

Ats, maybe this is weird... but you are describing my mother, almost to a T. Good thing my parents' ages are different, so I know you and your W could not be my parents and we are not figuring this out on a thread on SI, LOL

Maybe you can get her a gift certificate and give it to her in such a way that a friend/sister/daughters knows and will go with her to get hair/nails/shopping done. My mom has a habit of ending up giving her gift certificates to me or my sisters unless my dad gives it to her in a way that other people know and drag her along for the ride. Or, you could buy her clothes, and let her pick out ones she likes, then return the rest? I don't know how much of a shopper you are, but my dad is a BIG shopper, and my mom is not. She does enjoy that he buys her clothes that he thinks will look nice on her, and she enjoys the control that she gets from being able to pick and choose what she keeps. Gifts is obviously my dad's primary love language (and one of mine... apple... tree.... hmm...). But my mom does get to feel some control at the same time. I don't know how else to explain it, but it does work. If not for dad, she would be wearing the same clothes from 10, 20 + years ago as long as she could still fit in them.

As a woman and a CSAb survivor, I do feel like not taking pride in my appearance is a behavior that occurs when I am feeling especially down and when I am in those periods of "funk" that I end up shaking myself out of. This may be a sign. Your W's recent hysterectomy is a big one... I do think that Dr's and the general public overlook the effect this has on a woman. My mom is SO DIFFERENT since having hers, and her dynamic with my dad is SO DIFFERENT, I can't even put it into words. It makes me sad.

FWW started taking testosterone shots and she thought they helped her more than I did, but she stopped them and "keeps meaning" to schedule another. She self medicates a lot with Xanax and other drugs, goes on and off her antidepressants that she insists are only for weight control.

This worries me. Medically, she should not be self-medicating. She should really be under the care of a Dr WRT all these meds that she is/isn't/should/maybe shouldn't be taking. Perhaps she should see a psychiatrist? Is she drinking a worrisome amount too? I will admit, self-medicating with RX and alcohol is something I have been prone to in order to dull the pain of my existence in the deepest doldrums of my past. I don't know if other survivors can attest that they have experienced the same, but it is something that is so easy to slip into (for me, at least).
I have always been safe for her. I take care of things. I understand if she put kids or family, or job ahead of me. She has said I make her normal. Being normal is a big deal to her.

Have you explored this in MC? Do you feel that all your needs are getting met and have you brought this up in MC? In IC?

caspers1wish posted 8/15/2012 23:20 PM

I agree with NEM, that the hysterectomy is a big deal. Factor in going on/off antidepressants, which are known to interfere with sex drive, she sounds chemically out of balance.

Also, I can relate to the lack of is much worse in that funk state of mind. Also, as a survivor, I have recognized how my needs went unmet as a child. Abused by one parent, while the non-offending parent did nothing...there is an undercurrent of neglect throughout my childhood...and not just emotional neglect, but other things like seeing a doctor, regular health visits...none, zilch...when in Kinder, it took my mother days to change my bedding if I wet the bed, she took 2 weeks to treat a case of point is that neglect as a child turns into self neglect as an adult.

In regards to the sex and intimacy issue. My primary language is touch. We have frequent sex. Survivors tend to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, there is very little in between. My sister has a hard time being sexual, it brings up all these feelings about the abuse she doesn't want to feel and acknowledge.

I'm the opposite, I use sex to self-medicate, to soothe, because I'm bored, tired, I just need to be cuddled. I've had to struggle learning to be intimate without pressuring myself to be sexual.

I really struggle with viewing sex as a meaningful, intimate connection. For me, it's something I can do with anyone, and that right there is the real issue. It's not a special act, and I view it this way out of self-preservation, to protect myself. I can't be sexual or have sex without the flashbacks and physical triggers. I can't view sex as special and sacred and an act of love between two committed people when there are really 3 people going at, my husband, and my abuser. If I were truly able to suppress those things, it would mean shutting down sexually. We've tried it, it was a big fail and we were both miserable for the effort.

Survivors go to great lengths to avoid intimacy, real intimacy. It means being vulnerable, exposing our undersides, literally and figuratively. Abuse, especially repeated abuse, tears down and destroys trust, in anyone else and ourselves.

Putting a voice to some of the thoughts in my head during sex, was a horribly terrifying thing to do, and I figured my husband would run for the hills hearing my darkest thoughts. His acceptance has helped me accept myself, and relax more in the bedroom. But I know what it's like for a survivor to be afraid to really open up to her partner and share and trust and be intimate. It's a very lonely and heart breaking place to be. Those thoughts are there, rattling around in our heads, gnawing at our self worth, laced with guilt and shame, letting them out really brings them out from the darkness so we can live in the light of the day.

I hope your wife finds healing and peace.

vivere posted 8/15/2012 23:43 PM

I have read all 50 pages of Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part I. I identify with so many of the stories told. I am a BS, my husband is a SAbS. I knew nothing of this until 8 months ago...

We had been married 23 years when I found out about my H A's. It's taken 8 months to uncover the details I have to date. (He now swears I know everything but given that he has been forthcoming with nothing unless I have presented irrefutable evidence first, I am sceptical).

After the initial discovery my H developed a life threatening illness. I mention this by means of explanation because his hospitalisation enforced a 2 month hiatus in our 'recovery process'. Now he is healing and although still encumbered by pain, he is able to participate more fully in 'the process' should he choose to do so.

Discoveries (using the TT Method favoured by many WH )are listed below in an effort to condense the post. (Don't want anyone to get bored and give up on me ).

Uncovered LTA, long distance affair. It lasted approx. 10 months before becoming PA x1 sexual encounter? It ended after 12 months, the day I found out.
Uncovered texting persual of another woman during the LTA (nothing eventuated because she stopped returning texts)
Uncovered Prostitute use x2 Before and during LTA.
Confirmation of greater use of pornography by H than previously aware of. All our married life.
H reveals visits to Strip Clubs 3-4 times (something he knows I hate).
H reveals approx. 12 months of SA at age 10. He has never spoken of this since he told his parents when he was 10. The abuse stopped then. The abuser was a trusted adult family friend. It was never spoken of again.
Uncovered actual use of prostitutes much greater than previously admitted to. Last 2-4 years, maybe 15-20 occasions. All but 2 occasions said to be 'Adult massage with hand relief'.

Please believe me, by listing everything I am not minimising my H actions nor the impact they have had on me. I think I have experienced every possible emotion, felt every knife twist in my heart and cried every tear available, all whilst smiling outwardly, maintaining the charade for our beautiful teen-aged children.

I have also discovered many things about me. I am stronger than I ever thought I was. I am codependent or at least have many codependent traits. I held a somewhat idealised view of our marriage and did not see poor communication as a major issue. (Big Mistake!!) Our marriage, whilst ok, could have been much better. I own 50% of our marital issues but none of WH choices. I acknowledge they are his alone.

I have also learned some things about life, indeed, it is not fair. People can tell you that they love you but it wont stop them crushing you. Trust is underrated and now I fear, given way too freely in the past. You can think you know someone intimately, build a life with them, only to have it unravel in front of you, whilst you stand by helplessly and watch. You can't ever unlearn what you have learnt, even if you want to...

Today we are in limbo. We are agreed that until this important academic year is over for our eldest we will not tell anyone anything. 8 months ago that seemed like an impossible task but here we are in August already I have seen an IC just to save my sanity. That and SI have been my much needed sounding board!

I love my H. I would like to travel the road of R. I would like a stronger, more honest and fulfilling marriage with him. I see several obstacles however.

My H needs to love himself before he can love me the way I deserve to be loved, before we can have the marriage we both deserve. He needs to be well for his own sake and for that of our children who look up to him and need him to be present. He needs IC. He is reluctant and I can understand why. He is fearful. He has maintained this secrecy for over 37 years and as he says, opening up and talking about 'it' goes against every grain of his being. I get that, I really do. He says he even regrets telling me now.

I know this decision has to be his. He has to be willing to do the work necessary. I can be there every step of the way, to dry his tears, to listen when he needs to be heard and just to hold him when he needs to be held but I can not do the work required. I have learnt that through my reading since DDay.

I have the luxury of time. I don't have to make any hard and fast decisions just yet. I don't have to act on anything right this minute. Today I sit here typing this feeling relatively calm, resigned even. Tomorrow, I know I will probably be a basketcase, lamenting the direction my life has taken, especially since the recent changes have been well out of my control. Such is the roller coaster.

I am very grateful to SI for this thread. It helps enormously to know that my H and I are not alone. It also helps to read what people have shared with regard to things they have done that were helpful and things which were not. I am guided by what I read both here and from suggested texts by others. I am inspired by what people have posted and it keeps me ever hopeful. Thank you, each and everyone posting.

[This message edited by obliviousnownumb at 11:53 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)]

Waiting@home posted 8/16/2012 00:08 AM

Does anyone know where the post is about a SA survivor and being told they are wrong? I read it a couple of days ago and have been searching for the post.

I saw something about how a survivor struggles when told that they are doing something wrong and how they become defensive. I feel this way. A friend made several controlling remarks over the past month. I couldn't stand it any longer so I let them know that I didn't appreciate being judged by them or made to feel that my way of doing things is wrong.

If anyone knows where the blurb is about being defensive, please let me know.

momxgbg posted 8/16/2012 16:30 PM

In regards to the sex and intimacy issue. My primary language is touch. We have frequent sex. Survivors tend to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, there is very little in between.

I find it very interesting that some abuse survivor's primary language is touch...including mine!!! It floored me and my IC!! I would have never guessed my language was touch, but the more I thought about it and the more I talked to my IC...I discovered that touch HAS to be my primary language...but non-sexual touch.

I need my WH, friends and family to touch me in non-invasive ways and respect my boundries. When they do this, it shows me that I am special to them. That they are really thinking about me and what I need, and that they care.

Don't get me wrong, my WH and I have sex, but it is the hand holding, playing with my hair, patting my knee touches that show me I am special to him. That he values me for more than just sex.

Once I realized that I needed non-sexual, non-hurtful touch...I understood why touch was my primary language. And it made it easier for my WH to really respond to my primary language. He realized how he needed to show me that he loved and valued me.

Hope this realization helps some of you too.

Many hugs to us all.

[This message edited by momxgbg at 4:31 PM, August 16th (Thursday)]

VD2012 posted 8/16/2012 20:51 PM

I don't know exactly what I want to ask, so I'm just going to toss out stuff and hope you folks understand.

During the beginning of my relationship with my fWW I divulged in her all sorts of things that happened to me throughout my life, because its been quite eventful and awful. One such incident happened when I was 6. A guy around the corner of my house had a tent set up in his large front yard and a friend and I went into it late at night, well past when I should have been home. I don't even remember why. Anyways, the guy zipped up the tent and said he was going to show us something and we had to do as he asked. He then proceeded to pull his penis out of his pants and said we had to touch it if we wanted out. I freaked out, may or may not have touched it, and I kicked him square in the mouth, unzipped the tent and went running home. When I got there it was extremely late (well after 12am I'm sure) and my father decided to spank me with his belt before I could explain where I was or what happened. Until I told my fWW, and I guess now, I never told anyone about that. I don't know what happened with my friend and I never saw him around school after that.

Honestly, this has never phased me much. I've always been more upset that I abandoned my friend like that to save my own skin (probably why I have some sort of guardian/protector complex now) than by the fact some sicko tried molesting me. That said, telling her this prompted my wife to tell me very vague stories of when she was also a kid. One of which she was trapped in a house and a guy was going to touch her but her mom showed up and nothing much came of it.

She finally just told me the other day what really happened to her. And it crushed my spirit a bit. I just tried comforting her and held onto her. To think someone could do that to a kid, but also to my wife, just pisses me off. Now, a few things have arisen from this:

1. I absolutely loathe the very essence of my MIL. She's the one my wife told and she got the police involved, and that was that. No therapy, no talking about it ever. She never mentioned it. This woman has mentally traumatized my fWW throughout her life and I've even bourne witness to just how depraved she is mentally. This just worsens it. We have a daughter of our own, and if that ever happens to her... fuck, we'd actually deal with it. Therapy, talking, consoling, prosecution, everything that was needed for her to feel better. The big issue... we've been trying to schedule the first meeting we'll have had with her in over 4 and a half years, and now I dislike her even more than I did. Yay...

2. I honestly, don't quite know how to handle this to be frank. I don't know how to talk about it, don't know what to do. I told her it was very brave of her to tell me, and that I'm proud of her. That I won't pry (I did ask a couple questions for clarification of things but nothing too bad) and if she needs to talk I will listen. I even told her I'm not bothered that she "lied" (as she feels she did) when she first told me, that I can only imagine how difficult it is to deal with let alone by yourself. That said, I have no clue exactly how to help her or what to do, if anything. I know "be there for her" is obvious. Just, is there more? We're on a waiting list for a MC that uses a sliding scale, and can't afford other counselling options at the moment.

3. This has really altered the way I've been looking at her A. To be concise, she had an affair with a nearly 20 year older married coworker who fed into her desire for a friend and mentor of sorts. fWW had that with my mother, but she died last year and that was a big part of my fWW's spiraling issues. This man manipulated her and used coercive behaviour to get sex out of her, and strung her along on the hopes of him "listening to her" again like the first time they really talked. She's said emphatically, and texts do back it up a bit and I believe her, that she had no intent to cheat but when he pushed the sex onto her she couldn't say no out of fear of possibly being raped and just because she couldn't and she didn't want to make him upset with her. I honestly have not understood that... Is that possibly linked to her experience as a child? Same reason she says she started sexual texts with him after trying to end it and he refused or convinced her to keep talking to him. Her second sexual encounter happened weeks later and pretty much was a result of him telling her he'll talk to her again but only if they meet (and he apparently knew something about her that would shatter her world), at that point he refused to talk through text, only in person, but to get him to meet in person he wanted her to agree to go down on him. She did. She then did so and says she didn't think he was really serious but when in the situation again did it anyways hoping to get him to talk to her and make him happy. I found out days later.

What could her experience as a child influence with this?

I guess other relevant info to have is she (prior to the A) was only ever with me sexually. We're each other's firsts in every way. She has turned down countless guys prior to me, and has said she wanted to be with me because I looked at her like a person not a sexual object. Any sexual activity we ever started was always initiated by her because that's how I told her it would be, because I respected her and would wait or go at her pace however she felt. We've generally always had a healthy sex life, and prior to early this year she never so much as looked at another guy let alone flirted. Yet she went into overdrive with flirting at work earlier this year and being secretive and all that leading up to and including her A.

It's really stumped me and got me wondering.

When questioned about her A, prior to know about her molestation, she said many things that seemed odd to me. Like being fearful in OM's van and kind of feeling uncomfortable around him. That when they had sex she just wanted it over with... like seriously I gues is, yeah she betrayed me by going out with this guy but then it seemed he sexually assaulted her. Then she continued the relationship for whatever reason until I caught her... Is that normal? It really complicates things.

Same with her behaviour after her night our for "coffee with a friend". She had a super long bath and came out bright pink with obvious scrub marks. She even cried herself asleep with a stuffed animal I got her a long time ago that she only sleeps with when upset. Me being a buffoon just assumed she was upset about us. In the following weeks of her A, while at home, she looked up dozens of stories about women cheating on their mates. She looked at lots of websites (including Project Unbreakable) about rape and such. She even started talking about men being pigs and only wanting one thing (that being sex). And the showers. The constant multi hour long bath/showers with blistering hot water. I even tried to join her one day and burnt myself. It was all odd behaviour, that before D-Day I wasn't sure what to make of it, and after D-Day I figured was a sign of her guilt during the A , but now... now I wonder how this relates to everything.

She's even said since telling me about the molestation, that it's come back into her mind because of the A. Because her experience with the OM reminded her of it.

I really hope all my rambling has made sense...

momxgbg posted 8/16/2012 22:56 PM


Although while I, personally, don't think abuse is a reason for an affair, I do believe abuse can play a part in a WS's reasoning because abuse shapes so much in a person.

I don't know what your WS's abuse was I can't answer for her...but I can give you some insight into me and maybe that will help you understand her.

Now, to answer some of your questions on how this could happen. Speaking strickly from personal a childhood sexual abuse survivor I have horrible boundries. Really, really horrible. I cannot STAND people around me to be upset, in any way. And the closer, emotionally, I am to this person only exaggerates the feelings. This is something I work very hard on because it can/will/ and does consume my life.

For me, as a child...anyone not happy go lucky ...was danger.
A stranger, my mother, a babysitter...
especially my mom. If she was happy-go lucky...then that meant she was drunk or high and "forgot" about my brother and I...which was absolutely wonderful...
because when she remembered us...the abuse would begin. Sometimes broken bones, sometimes just slaps, sometimes on "loan" to pay for her habits.

So now at 37...I am just learning to set boundries. I have spent my whole life conforming to what I thought someone else wanted in me to keep them happy. Them being happy, to me, meant no pain of any kind... I am just now learning who I REALLY am, because I have spent my whole life changing from minute to minute depending on who I was around. Whether I had known them my whole life or for only a few minutes...I would become whatever kept them happy.

This included doing things I did NOT want to do, because it made them happy. And trust me...sometimes I could have said no and the other person would not have hurt me at all...but my ingrained/learned response is to avoid conflict and unhappiness at any cost.

This even drives my OCD and perfectionism today...because as a child, if I was perfect and did everything just right, then maybe - just mom or the babysitter's boyfriend would forget I was there. If nothing drew their attention...sometimes I could disappear.

Even now, to step out of these comfort zones causes me extreme anxiety, to the point I am almost crippled.

It took 2 years! of therapy and my oldest girl developing into a young woman (physically) for me to finally gather enough strength to confront my mom, and to finally say there will be no contact between her, my stepdad and my children. And it still wasn't for was to protect my children.

Along with all of my boundry problems comes the inability to trust that someone would help. My Mom knew about the abuse, hell...she did most of it. But my Dad also knew (my folks were divorced) auynts and uncles knew, I vividly remember telling a teacher and you bet that at least some doctor's knew as they treated broken bones and "other" injuries. But you know what? No one ever took us from her. No one ever saved us, no one helped. It happened over and over and over...for years.

So I also "learned" to never tell, never complain. No one was going to help anyway.

I hope this helps you understand? some with your WS. I want to reiterate that abuse does not cause an A, but the psychological and lingering effects can affect a person for the rest of their life.

It has takem me over 2 years of weekly IC appt.'s to even be able to talk this openly about what happened and be able to step back a bit and realize why I do...what I do.

I hope this helps you a little bit.

Good luck to you both.

[This message edited by momxgbg at 11:06 PM, August 16th (Thursday)]

VD2012 posted 8/17/2012 21:32 PM

Thank you for the response. Yes it did help.

I know that her abuse as a child isn't a reason or excuse for her actions now, but I've just been trying to figure out how exactly that sort of experience would shape someone's mind.

It's made sense of some of the things she told me about the A that made no sense before, and now trying to learn how sexual abuse affects people is enlightening.

It's no excuse for her A obviously, but does help paint a better picture of how she got to that point.

Fractured.Us posted 8/19/2012 03:02 AM

Haaaa, where to start. Seeing the thread the other day in General about being a SAS and A. I told my story. I've only once written about it before that, and was not too long after dday2. I guess the A made me think more about myself. I don't know what I want to say actually. I don't even really know if I still hold anger or resentment from CSA. Perhaps just apathy?

My coping mechanism was, and still is, to compartmentalize. I didn't know what that was until coming to SI and reading about it. I buried everything deep within me to cope. Back then, to survive rest of my chidhood in as much "normalcy" I can muster. Did a damn good job, as not even my best friends ever suspected anything and everyone thought I was so damn emotionally balanced and stable, lol. I had no issues with intimacy, developing relationships, etc. just hid my dark secret very well and NEVER let it show outwardly whatever effects it may have had on me. To this day, I have constant contact with my abuser. No feeling of enmity. Just knowledge that this person no longer can have any hold on me and I am no longer afraid. My long term SA was between age ten until almost 15, when I finally started growing some balls to plan avoidance and develop subtle passive resistance tactics to discourage or make the abuse not possible. Yes, it stopped. I guess he figured he can no longer coerce or scare me into compliance without things blowing up.

There are times the memories pop up, and different scenes play out in my head without me being able stop it. Sometimes during sex, sometimes when alone doing something mundane, or sometimes triggered by what I see or hear. Every one of those instances, I let it play out and ignore while I continue whatever I was doing.

Weird? Lately I have been wondering though if I am just a cold, calculating weirdo. Or is it that I have come to accept that it was something I could not control therefore could not change? I honestly don't know. Before the A, my H never had issues with my intimacy or affection. Ok, except during couple of years after our second child when we had virtually no sex life - that ended up to be due to PPD meds and BC pills.

Now, post A, I sometimes think that I am again trying to box up my emotions and bury it. Maybe right next to some of my childhood memories...

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