you were raped by a co-worker and then ended up in an ongoing sexual relationship with the rapist?
while engaged in the ongoing sexual relationship with the rapist you began a sexual relationship with an abusive man?
from 09/11 - 05/13
2 ONS, 10 sexting partners, 1 LT EA/PA
??/06/13 DD/1 - admits to LT EA, begin false R.
01/13/14 DD/2 - LTA was PA.
01/18/14 DD/3 - sexting 5 guys.
01/19/14 DD/4 - 2 ONS with different guys
Just be re-assuring to him and give him focus when you can. If you are being transparent and answering questions then you are off to a great start.
He is going to feel that at times your story has changed or somethings don't add up, but that is normal for BS.
Ask your husband, what bothers him the most and what he wants to know in regards. Then write it out for him. This will be good for you as well. Because after he has received it and read it in your presences then you both can discuss it, but hopefully the writing it out will release it from your shoulders and your heart and will give your husband some clarity. Ask him if he is satisfied with that, and if you are both ready to move on from that one issue you can ball up the paper together and throw it away as a statement that you are both moving on from that issue.
Just my suggestion to help both of you. I am not saying it is a miracle fix but I hope it would help your husband and you.
I was raped as well (very different situation than yours) and told my husband.
It has been so difficult for him to recover from that. He has not been one to offer me compassion because he can't get passed his own hurt and that stings, so I know whereof you speak.
There are rape abuse crisis centers out there. Although I have been to one he has not. I wonder if someone from there explaining the situation of rape and how it's about power, not sex, would help your husband. The thing about this traumatic experience is that although you want to help him through it, it's really quite a personal journey for both parties (husband and wife) to recover from this. I hope he is in Ic.
I waited 5 days to call the police. I was embarrassed and humiliated and racked my brain on what I did wrong. This is normal. So very normal.
I hope you're getting IC.
Thoughts, hugs and prayers.
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember."
Extremely difficult topic and as each circumstance is unique, I think everyone handles this topic differently as well. Although I have never had one of my partners raped while I was with them, all 3 of my long term girlfriends (3+ years with each) and my wife who I'm with now were all sexually assaulted before I stepped in the picture. None of them reported the incidents and a few of them were assaulted repeatedly. As a partner/spouse of too many sexually abused women, I can honestly say that each woman has had different sexual issues and they all played out differently with me. The most I could do was let them come to talk to me about it. Only one of them wouldn't talk to me about it (I'm fairly certain she was sexually abused/assaulted by her father through her childhood and teenage years) and she started to act out in very dark ways in our bedroom.
The difference is that each of my partner's were already acting out when I stepped into the picture. I was the one who, in each case, they stopped sleeping around for because I showed them what caring for them was about. I reserve the word love for my wife. Once they confided all I wanted to do was hold them and let them know that it was going to be ok. That I was a safe haven for them. This may be what you are looking for from your husband?
All of that aside, it sounds like what you are saying is that you need to stop reliving the experience over and over and you want to move forward in the healing process. However, this is where your husband is having an extremely difficult time because he can't get his head around all of it. It's extremely hard to realize how much sexual assault plays a roll in acting out sexually if you have never experienced it before. It took me years to figure it out and really wasn't until my wife that I was able to connect the dots with all of it to understand what was going on both before I stepped into the picture and of course afterwards. Your husband has that extra layer of betrayal that makes this even more difficult. He has a hard time believing any of it because he doesn't know any different. I wouldn't either not having seen a myriad of the symptoms first hand myself over the years.
He needs to get help to see your side of the equation on some of this as well as you working with him on empathy. Is there any IC that he can find to help him with this? He needs to hear how this stuff plays out from someone other than yourself as well.
[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 9:22 AM, March 31st (Monday)]
NO NO NO appletoo!! Comeback! Most of us are not judging! Please know that SI is a safe haven and this subject is very tough for those that do not understand it.
Really no judgement here!!
Please don't leave, the one that sat in judgment was the minority as you have received a lot of solid and comforting advice.
I can add the stop sign icon to your thread which will than close it off to BS's if that will make you feel more comfortable.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:24 AM, March 31st (Monday)]
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
We are here for you appletoo.
I've been around here a couple years and I can promise you that SI is safe. Those who make it unsafe are addressed. That's the beautiful thing about SI. Its moderated. And the Wayward forum is protected. Most sites don't have a protected forum for us.
You have a very tough situation. Yes there was a couple judgy comments. But there were others asking for details, not to criticize or hurt you, but to get a better understanding and feeling for your situation so they could help and advise you. I'm sorry you felt attacked.
Please reconsider and come back.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 9:33 AM, March 31st (Monday)]
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
I would suggest that your husband goes into individual counseling (IC) and marriage counseling for both of you. You husband could get some good information from here as well, in the healing library specifically.
There is rough times ahead for both of you, while dealing with the trauma of rape and infidelity.
Good Luck to both you and Mr. appletoo, many prayers heading your way.
This is a very serious situation and might affect more woman in the work place than is generally known.
I think it is a pity that so many chose to focus on the rape part of your story, rather than the questions regarding infidelity and how to help you and your husband heal. It made me quite mad to see your rape questioned. It happened, it broke you and led you to choose infidelity. It is a very sad situation.
As far as your question about how to help your husband process this and heal, I would strongly recommend counceling (IC & MC) for your husband. You mentioned that he doesn't want to go because he doesn't think it would help, and I can understand that. My husband felt the same way. It took some time and a lot of convincing, but I eventually managed to get him in to councelling with me and now he does see the value in it. I do not think that he will be able to heal without any professional help. Ignoring it and hoping that time alone will do the trick won't work, IMO. Others with more experience than me will hopefully come along with some advice on what to say to your husband to get him to agree to counceling.
Best of luck to you and Mr. appletoo on your journey to healing.
I'm so sorry you don't feel like this is a safe place to post, but I understand. It's really unfortunate that your rape was questioned right off the bat. I think people often are quick to judge in these situations bc subconsciously, it makes them feel safer. They distance themselves from the issue by judging, because then it seems less likely that the terrible event could happen to them. A fallacy with sexual assault, because it happens to women ( and men) of every race, socioeconomic status, age, and under greatly varying circumstances. The common denominators for rape are that a) it's usually about power, b) it involves lack of consent, and c) it happens far too often.
I was acquaintance raped in college. It took me a long time to admit it to myself, and I never reported it.
Some people have the mistaken idea that rape only occurs via gunpoint or knifepoint. Bullshit. Rape can occur via threats, intimidation, and multiple other ways. If both partners don't consent, are incapable of consenting at the time, or are intimidated/threatened into sex, then sex should not be happening.
I'm really sorry that happened to you and I wish you and your husband all the best in recovery.
I don’t need sympathy, I just need someone who understands, how can I help him?
How do I separate the two issues for myself? They are so linked together in my mind I think that is making it more difficult for him too.
Give attention to both. Both are important. One does not negate the other.
You're a survivor of one of the most painful things a person can go through. That takes a LONG time to heal… not sure if it ever fully does. Honor yourself as a survivor. Do you have resources to help you - books, counselor, supportive people?
Then you can unpack the infidelity, and it sounds like there are a lot of layers to that as well. You can acknowledge the pain you caused your BH while also acknowledging the toxicity of the OM (and possibly the similarities to your abuser). In time, it will get easier to focus on your actions and their effects on your BH and yourself, and not look as much at the OM's, in the context of the infidelity. And that will probably feel more and more empowering - it's not solely an infidelity issue, it's also a coping issue, coping with something horrific. As you look at more tools to help you and as you heal from the assault, then it will be easier to focus on the choices you made during the infidelity and how and why, and separate it from the assault (it's not the same but similar to a dance that some of us madhatters do - it's important that we do NOT blame ourselves for the hurtful choices of our spouses or others, but also to own our own choices. When you've had a complicated history, it's too easy to fall into the trap of saying "I deserved to be harmed because of xyz" - and no one deserves any kind of abuse!).
The hard thing is, the pain you endured from the coworker (want to add a lot of cuss words to that monster) is something you're still healing from acutely. There are a lot of tools you're having to learn right now just to deal with that alone. Focus on healing yourself. Be honest and open with your husband when he wants to know things. Initiate discussions or ask him if anything related to either the assault or the infidelity are on his mind - by initiating, sometimes it takes some of the pressure off him to bring up his fears. If he is resistant to IC, would he be more willing to try CC (couples' counseling)? If he is saying he doesn't want to do it anymore - he could mean that in the moment, or he could mean that as an end - either way, keep healing yourself, and keep offering openness to him as he does his healing as well.
A thought: maybe write out a timeline, of both the assault and the affair, and offer it to your husband. If you do that, then maybe it would help him to see all the answers in one place. It might also be healing for you.
I'm sorry for rambling. I hope what I was trying to say came out OK, and I hope I didn't make you feel uncomfortable, judged, or insulted. I feel a lot of compassion for you and what you've endured.
ETA: sorry, wanted to add one thing: I used the word "assault", not meaning to invalidate you, just using that word because I cannot say the R-word… It's one of the only words I have not been able to say for years, get too sick, the word's too painful for me to use. Nothing to do with you, just wanted to explain.
[This message edited by silverhopes at 12:54 PM, March 31st (Monday)]
There's a support forum for sexual abuse survivors or spouses of SAb survivors. If you would like support from people who have been there too, or even just to read some stories and see you're not alone.