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Reconciliation
User Topic: wh molested as a child...
sri624
Member
Member # 33956
Default  Posted: 12:25 PM, June 14th (Friday)

I just learned in a very emotional talk with my h that he was sexually molested by an uncle as a kid when he was 7. It was a painful discussion...he never told anyone.

I have compassion for him. He is already in ic...but i cant help but wonder if his addictions and infedelities are linked??

I want to be sure not to blameshift, rug sweep or make excuses for his unacceptable behavior.

Thought? Not sure what to make of this news????


BS (41):(Former Doormat)
WS (39):(Busted Cheater)
Married: 10 years, 3 kids under 5
DD1: 10/11 PA/EA with pilates instructor/former stripper.
DD2: 10/12 False r, cheating with other women, online dating,Substance abuse issues.
Attempting R in bi

Posts: 934 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Alabama
Conflicted1
Member
Member # 39019
Default  Posted: 12:57 PM, June 14th (Friday)

Sri. My WH too revealed sexual abuse from childhood after a dday we had a couple of years ago. Even though it may contribute to the coping skills that got you both to this place make no mistake that the admission itself is the thing to keep it from happening again. We thought we had it figured out and spent two years in counseling but when new bigger stress hit that he didnt know how to handle he went back to his default way of trying to self medicate.


Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don't expect it from cheap people.

Posts: 101 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Me=BW 45
UnexpectedSong
Member
Member # 21761
Default  Posted: 12:58 PM, June 14th (Friday)

Read the sexual abuse thread in the "I Can Relate" forum.


WW(SA)
"Feedback is the breakfast of champions." - Boris Becker

Posts: 6090 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: California
doesitgetbetter
Member
Member # 18429
Default  Posted: 2:22 PM, June 14th (Friday)

My H was abused as a child, so was I. H was never addicted to anything ever, still never has been. I have been on many things (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes) but never addicted to anything (could stop anytime, and have multiple times, haven't had a smoke or drug in over 16 years, haven't had a drink in almost a decade). H cheated, I have never.

Yes, I will agree that it certainly plays a part, but it is not the reason why someone cheats. They don't cheat because they were molested. They may cheat because of the shame they carried that made them feel not good enough to be in a relationship, or they may cheat because they felt they were just a sexual object and they were supposed to perform whenever anyone approached them, or many other reasons RELATED to being molested, but not simply because they were molested.

I hope that makes sense.

It's good that H told you, this can help you two be so much closer and have less secrets between the two of you.


DDay - Dec '07
Me - BS
Him - FWS
Us - Committed
May 18, 2010 - I forgave him fully!
"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10

Posts: 3859 | Registered: Feb 2008
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 8:08 PM, June 14th (Friday)

(((Sri624)))

I too learned this about my H after Dday. I have read a lot about it and both my H and I have dealt with it in IC and MC.

I have learned that, like anything else, boys can be damaged in different ways. Not everyone reacts the same. Of course the degree of abuse can vary. From what I understand age 7 and an uncle are both particularly difficult. And of course abuse can have life long effects that can be profound.

My H has learned that his abuse, which was by his mother's boyfriend from age 8-10, which his mother apparently ignored, caused him to have dismissive attachment, profound fear of control, fear of intimacy, the ability to compartmentalize, be selfish, have poor self esteem and made him withdraw when he sensed criticism.
If you were to make a list of wayward requirements you could not do better!

So yes, I believe the CSA had a lot to do with the infidelity. We talk about WSs being broken, and nothing breaks a person quite so effectively.

That can help explain why but it still is no excuse. There is that much more work to do to heal. I do find that it helped me feel some compassion, however.

Good luck to you both.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1728 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
sri624
Member
Member # 33956
Default  Posted: 11:40 PM, June 14th (Friday)

i am so happy to have friends like all of you on this site. you always give good, honest advice, feedback and suggestions...exactly what i need.

he is seeing his ic for his foo issues. i can clearly see that he has a lot of issues that have nothing to do with me.

just wish he didnt cheat, you know?


BS (41):(Former Doormat)
WS (39):(Busted Cheater)
Married: 10 years, 3 kids under 5
DD1: 10/11 PA/EA with pilates instructor/former stripper.
DD2: 10/12 False r, cheating with other women, online dating,Substance abuse issues.
Attempting R in bi

Posts: 934 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Alabama
Althea
Member
Member # 37765
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

My WH disclosed that he had been inappropriately touched by two older boys at two different times when he was 5-6 years old. He never told anyone, and learned to compartmentalize effectively very early on. He also became very concerned that because this happened he was in someway homosexual even though he never felt attracted to men. As a result, he felt an extraordinary need for female validation. Given this info, his A makes A LOT of sense. That being said, I wouldn't trust for a second that because he shared this information that we are somehow immune from him cheating again. Coming to terms with the abuse gives him a clear idea as to his individual vulnerabilities and lack of coping skills, through MC we are working on a relationship vulnerabilities; but there are no guarantees.


Taking it one day at a time.

Posts: 452 | Registered: Dec 2012
Memphis
New Member
Member # 39303
Default  Posted: 2:03 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

I've only been married for a little over a year after my first marriage which was 35 years. Since, I've learned that there was incest within my new H's family . . . beginning with his father,to his sisters, and then his sisters to my H. My H was only about 10 years old when it started. I get very angry when I think about this. His sisters come across as if they have all the answers to the world's problems . . . yet the destruction to each of their family members goes beyond any understanding. My H can distance himself emotionally very easily. Even when we talk about his past discretions. I have never cheated on him. My goodness . . . !!!! I will / would never !!! I'm still a newly wed and desire him with every ounce of my being. Yet, I know there is a detactment that I don't know he'll every get over or fix. He tells me that he doesn't know how to love. AND he has no reason to go anywhere (to be in another's arms). I've created a beautiful loving home and a warm bed. Nonetheless, he needed to cheat. I'm trying to fix this. I've been here for three months since and we talk about the future, yet I know it won't take much for me to walk away at this point. We are on such thin ice. How far does this molestation thing go? How far do we make it the excuse and allow things to go on as this is how life is suppose to be? He has never said that molestation was his issure, but how can't it be?

Posts: 11 | Registered: May 2013
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

They are absolutely linked. Sexual abuse shatters a child.

Please watch this video on what sexual abuse has to do with addiction and infidelity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-BB2ylI8EU


Posts: 11601 | Registered: Mar 2008
Mama_of_3_Kids
Member
Member # 26651
Default  Posted: 3:11 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

While it may be linked in some situations, it's not the case for all. Example-I was molested by three different people as a child (for a time period of around six years) and I've never been a Wayward, but I've been Betrayed twice (by a serious bf in high school and by Do3K).


Me: FBW/30 Him: FWH/33 The kidlets: DS13, DS10, and DD8 The hounds: Four Shih Tzu's
Finally, completely R'd
Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future.~Proverbs 31:25

Posts: 11555 | Registered: Dec 2009
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 4:39 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

Abuse during our formative years re-wires our brain, and while we all cope in different ways: addiction and sexual deviancy are common.

Has he told his C? It may affect his treatment.

I recommend reading The Sexual Healing Jouney by Wendy Maltz. It is comforting to know that other CSA survivors have had similar life experiences and thoughts.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1109 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

Abuse during our formative years re-wires our brain, and while we all cope in different ways: addiction and sexual deviancy are common.

This needs repeating. Not EVERYONE will react in the same ways. Just like not everyone who experiences anything in life will take away the same lessons. But it is very very common for sexual abuse to be related to self harm in any number of ways.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 44415 | Registered: Sep 2006
AppleBlossom
Member
Member # 38541
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, June 16th (Sunday)

My SO revealed that he had been SA as a child from the ages of around 6 to 12. It was by a male cousin. From there, his inappropriate use of sex as a tool and a coping strategy was in full force. His parents did not protect him out of ignorance, and when he started to act out at school he was punished for the acting out, rather than the root of the cause identified.

He was unfaithful to his ex-wife all through his marriage with prostitutes and OW (around 4-6 that I am aware of, one that he kept going back to over a period of about 12 years) and then used prostitutes during a period of our relationship.

After I found out (he pocket dialled me while he was fucking a prostitute...nice) my world imploded. But so did his. He went through a very painful period of finally facing up to the abuse and the effect that it had had on him all his adult life. We both did a lot of research and he had a ton of counselling.

Yes, he had options and choices, but when something as horrendous as that happens at such a young and tender age, of course it will have ramifications.

After a lot of soul searching, I decided to support my SO as he went through the initial process of working this out, and during that time we put our relationship on hold.

That was last October, and now I see a changed man before me. Every single facet of his life is different. His relationship with me, with his workplace, his ex-wife, his kids, my kids - but more importantly HIMSELF.

He grew up believing and knowing in his heart that he was dirty and wicked and not worth protecting or loving. Now he loves himself, values himself and is not afraid to fight for what he wants. One of this "things" is a loving and healthy relationship with me. I too have had to face some demons, and have had to have the strength to see hiim through this, while at the same time valuing what I need, and keeping myself safe.

We now have an extraordinarily close and loving relationship. We have both worked very, very hard on it, and there is no way I would have reconciled with him had he not worked hard. At this point, I can honestly and truthfully say I am glad it happened, glad it found out. I would never have had this wonderful man that I could always see beneath the grief had I not.


Posts: 154 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Australia
ThoughtIKnewYa
Member
Member # 18449
Default  Posted: 8:13 PM, June 16th (Sunday)

I guess I should re-state what I said. If your H was sexually abused as a child and went on to become SA and have As, the two are definitely linked. As others have pointed out, not ALL abused kids will go on to be SA or have As. I, too, am an example of that, as I was first molested at the age of five and have never been wayward.


Posts: 11601 | Registered: Mar 2008
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:54 AM, June 17th (Monday)

AppleBlossom, thanks for sharing this.

He grew up believing and knowing in his heart that he was dirty and wicked and not worth protecting or loving. Now he loves himself, values himself and is not afraid to fight for what he wants
.

You say he transformed in about 6 months? That gives me great hope, thanks again.

TIKYa: Yes, but I hope nobody would interpret your post, or mine, as saying every CSA victim is predestined to cheat. I'm sorry you went through that as a little kid.

[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 8:55 AM, June 17th (Monday)]


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1109 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 9:20 AM, June 17th (Monday)

sri621 - I feel your pain


My wife told me years ago, but I (in my ignorance) didn't think it really hurt her much. She told me there was some molestation but that was it. Didn't give me details of much. It hurt in my heart but she was a "normal" woman. Still, didn't want to have much sex at all, me thinking all women are like this.


YES, there is a CONNECTION!!! Not all molested children grow up to be WS, but the link IS there. CONTROL is the word. Sexual deviation. She views men in a VERY non-healthy way. Her OM was safe, she controlled and the only way she knew how to express her attraction to him was sexual. She wanted to keep it non-emotional and a secret. It backfired.

She hid the molestation for years, till this day. I am the only one that knows (other than IC). She grew up compartmentalizing in order to deal with it, grew up with a hidden shame, guilt, dirtiness, unworthiness, self loathing, with a hidden depression. These are all part of the downward fall if never dealt with.

Now she has to deal with what she did, the destruction of our home by HER doing. The destruction of the OM's home, the shame, the guilt, the self loathing while the past comes busted open from its hidden compartment in her brain.

caused him to have dismissive attachment, profound fear of control, fear of intimacy, the ability to compartmentalize, be selfish, have poor self esteem and made him withdraw when he sensed criticism.

As quoted above from a previous poster, this is what she is now. Making our R very very hard. To the point where she feels nothing, is selfish and wants to separate so she can be alone. In her head she sees me as a fuck buddy or some f'd up shit like that. Needless to say, what a monster did to my wife, f'd my wife up and me now. Our children hurt too. :(


In lots of prayer.

[This message edited by 2married2quit at 9:22 AM, June 17th (Monday)]


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 4:41 PM, June 17th (Monday)

Here's the thread for abuse situation. Makes lots of sense:

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=440930


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
AppleBlossom
Member
Member # 38541
Default  Posted: 6:51 PM, June 17th (Monday)

Hey Sri, I am glad that you have found some support here. It is so helpful to have people that really understand.

I wouldn't say that his transformation happened in six months. He ended his marriage of 23 years over four years ago, and that precipitated some changes, but he never faced the true cause of his issues. I knew of his infidelity while married, and like the innocent that I was assumed that our great and special luurve would mean that had ended.

in the last four years he has dealt with things on the surface, so I guess the groundwork was done. He knew things intelectually, but never really authenticated or demonstrated what he had learned. It was like "yes, I know this is what I should be doing and feeling, but I am choosing not to".

It wasnt until that horrible, horrible night when I heard what I did and he saw my grief and pain, and what he had lost that he was slapped to his senses.

The night he told me about the extent of the abuse was so sad and heart wrenching. From that night on he has worked so hard on making his world okay. In terms of our reconcilation, he has never EVER made excuses for his actions. He has been completely open with his phone, computer, he sends me copies of agendas and details of meetings and business trips, photos of people he is with with date stamps. He answers my questions over and over with total patience. So there is no way he gets a leave pass just because he was abused as a boy. As someone else here said, abuse does not always lead to infidelity. It was his choice to behave that way, but after doing it since he was 13 years old (having sex with his sister's friend at the same time as having a girlfriend) its very very hard to change those responses.

The only other thing I would add is that while my pain has been expressed and not shut down at all, I have never judged him or spoken disrespectfully to him. When I have been angry, I have just been angry. I have expressed my feelings without having to insult or denigrate him. We set some rules down for communication very early on so that we could manage our way through this. The secret to all this is that we were both fullly and wholly committed to reconciliation between and of ourselves.

I do hope that you and your partner are able to work through this. I am so sorry for your pain, and the pain that your husband experienced as a boy.


Posts: 154 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: Australia
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 2:35 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

My question is, if our WS was molested as a child, is our R different than others? Should we follow the same process? Is there a different route?


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
sri624
Member
Member # 33956
Default  Posted: 3:51 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

good question. I just left my ic and told her about this...she told me..."that explains so much...and puts the pieces together." she said that most of her patients who have been sexually molested like my husband go on to have issues such as acting out sexually, trouble with intimacy, crimnal behavior, and issues with shame and self worth.
she said not all of them go on to cheat, or do bad things...but the percentage of them having some serious emotional issues is overwhelmingly high. she said his cheating is inexcusable...he had a choice and decided to make the wrong one...but that his molestation does play a huge role and cannot be ignored. he needs to continue his ic.

i have compassion for him...but i still do hurt terribly by what he has done.

and i do also wonder if that makes my journey to healing different? it all hurts.


BS (41):(Former Doormat)
WS (39):(Busted Cheater)
Married: 10 years, 3 kids under 5
DD1: 10/11 PA/EA with pilates instructor/former stripper.
DD2: 10/12 False r, cheating with other women, online dating,Substance abuse issues.
Attempting R in bi

Posts: 934 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Alabama
metamorphisis
Administrator
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

My question is, if our WS was molested as a child, is our R different than others? Should we follow the same process? Is there a different route?

Well yes and no IMO. I think the most important process in Reconciliation is getting to the root of the issues and finding out how and why one gave themselves permission to cheat. That's no easy task because it can involve stripping down your personality and beliefs and really examining where they came from. In the case of someone who was molested some really awful and damaging messages took root very early. It can be a monumental task to go back there and examine that and deal with it, maybe for the first time in their lives.
However I believe any WS has to do that hard introspective work to reconcile. It's just that the actual issues will be different.



“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 44415 | Registered: Sep 2006
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 7:21 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)

sri-
Thank you for answering that and asking your IC.

My WW still has to learn no matter what that she made the WRONG choice, can't RUGSWEEP, and has HAS to be sympathetic to MY feelings. If doing a hard core 180 is what it takes, then so be it. My WW's ability to compartmentalize makes it hard for me since sometimes she looks so happy as if nothing happened and I'm hurting inside. I can't fake it like she can, but she's done it forever.

[This message edited by 2married2quit at 7:23 PM, June 18th (Tuesday)]


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

I think this just makes R a lot slower and painful.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 5:18 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

Does it make R and the healing journey different? Maybe, but isn't everyone's healing journey different? In a way it might be harder on the BS of a WS who is a CSA survivor, because the BS may feel guilty about being angry with their WS when the damage done to them as a child wasn't the WS's fault.

But whether the root cause of the WS's infidelity was CSA, other abuse, FOO issues, personality disorders...none of those reasons may be WS's "fault," but the choices we made are still our responsibility. So, in that way: the healing journey is the same as anyone else's.

It can be a monumental task to go back there and examine that and deal with it, maybe for the first time in their lives.

Hope this isn't a t/j, but I struggle so much with this. Because if not for my infidelity, I'm not sure I would've ever taken the initiative to start IC. I've known my whole adult life that I have major personality defects, probably caused by the childhood trauma, but I always embraced those characteristics--that's just who I was! Finally I am ready to learn if I can be a "real girl" who is vulnerable, considerate, and capable of being needy. Point being: some good may come out of my As, and that is tough to accept.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1109 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 7:32 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

The issue we are having is how to work on both the CSA and the A fallout. It is hard to do both. We tend to go back and forth. I believe that our M will continue to get stronger as he delves more deeply into his past, but it's something only he can control.

My IC has a lot of experience with CSA and she is helping me a lot. She doesn't excuse him but she has a lot of compassion and helps me with even basic marital stuff, talking about his trust issues, how he is uncomfortable expressing his needs (because they were belittled or ignored as a child) etc. She agrees about the brain rewiring and the profound damage done. Talks about how he is emotionally still a damaged child in many ways. It helps me feel empathy.

Interestingly, as another poster mentioned, my H first had sex at 12. He suspects he wanted to prove he wasn't gay, but he also may have not known another way to relate.

His LTA was a bit different in that he didn't feel excited to be with the OW, but felt compelled ( my IC suspects "controlled"), found the sex unsatisfying, the aftermath uncomfortable and felt shame that was then compartmentalized. He never had an emotional attachment but for some reason that he couldn't understand would find himself back there. He mentioned repeatedly that he felt like a "different person" and did things that he felt were out of character. My IC called this disassociation, which can be a consequence of CSA.

Anybody else's WS have these type of interactions?



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1728 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

Anybody else's WS have these type of interactions?

Yes. It is so hard for me to understand. WH insists that he did not want OW in any way and got nothing out of their relationship but shame, guilt, panic and confusion.

He is so sure that he never wanted the affair to happen, and so adamant that he wanted it to end. Yet, he kept going back to her for 17 months. When I tell him that people just don't do things they really don't want to do, he says broken people do.

I am angry at him for compounding his self esteem problem by throwing away his integrity. How is he supposed to feel good about himself now?

R with a victim of child abuse seems like a journey that will take longer than the 3 to 5 years for infidelity. My most common thought about the affair is, if only we could deal with the issues from WH's childhood without the shadow of adultery over us.


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 9:03 PM, June 19th (Wednesday)

True that, sailorgirl.

My IC says to think in terms of very small steps over years. No pushing.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1728 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:53 AM, June 20th (Thursday)

Anybody else's WS have these type of interactions?

Yes. It is so hard for me to understand. WH insists that he did not want OW in any way and got nothing out of their relationship but shame, guilt, panic and confusion.

I can so relate wanting to recreate the cycle of shame, guilt, and chaos that the abuse created in my life. There is a deep seeded drive to prove one's unworthiness and an inherent knowledge that we don't deserve love or anything good. Those are the messages we get when we are abused, and those are the messages we seek to fulfill.

He is so sure that he never wanted the affair to happen, and so adamant that he wanted it to end. Yet, he kept going back to her for 17 months. When I tell him that people just don't do things they really don't want to do, he says broken people do.

I feel I've come relatively far in healing from my CSA. I used to feel utterly broken beyond repair. I can say now that I'm whole, I'm ok, I survived, life is pretty good and worth living most of the time. Despite that, there is still that small voice that points out the damage, the wreckage, the ugly scars etched on my soul. I learn to love those scars, love myself, there will always be those days where it's not easy. No matter how much I've dealt with the abuse and worked to heal from it, I'm always going to see the images (I'll spare you the graphics) from the abuse, and can't help but still feel broken just a little bit. It's really hard to explain. It's super horrifying on one hand, on the other hand, I made it, I survived. *Breathe sigh of relief*

I am angry at him for compounding his self esteem problem by throwing away his integrity. How is he supposed to feel good about himself now?

I know this really confused my BH. It makes perfect sense to me. I'm not supposed to feel good about myself, ever. I'm worthless, I'm nothing, and here, let me prove it to you, and myself. It's the self destruction. It's trying to make sense of why the abuse happened to me. "Well duh, I'm a piece of shit, see?" Somehow, it's our fault, the abuse happened because it was something about us, not the effed up abuser. You see that all the time with kids. Children of divorce somehow feel it's their fault their parents split up. Children find innumerable ways to take the blame when anything bad happens. Instead of being shielded from internalizing negative things that inevitably happen in life, children of abuse are put on the front line, exposed, exploited, and cruelly taken advantage of. It's no wonder the view of life looks awfully different from their perspective.

R with a victim of child abuse seems like a journey that will take longer than the 3 to 5 years for infidelity. My most common thought about the affair is, if only we could deal with the issues from WH's childhood without the shadow of adultery over us.

What I noticed is that healing is cyclical. And that means recovery from any trauma, infidelity, abuse. I cycle through ups and downs, I relearn things again and again, and each time, it's like it was new...although, things are beginning to stick, shortening the cycles. And each time, something new will happen. The depressive cycle is shorter, or I'm able to see my life differently, I find forgiveness, I forgive myself, there are days that are peaceful, and then more days like that, triggers become less. It's all steps that overlap each other, repeat, to build upon each other, just a gradual process, but one I can assure you, does get better and easier.

t/j...I'm sorry this post is so bad with grammatical pronoun errors...I find it difficult when discussing CSA to always be possessive about it.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 759 | Registered: Jun 2010
unfound
Member
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, June 20th (Thursday)

mr unfound is a SAb survivor. true that it's not a reason or excuse, almost all SAb survivors will have some sort of behavior manifestations as adults.

the route you take through R will be as individual as you and your H are. granted, he's got a lot on his side to resolve. getting to the root of his behaviors and how to become a healthy person will take a great therapist/counselor specializing in CSA. in our experience it was a slow, painful process in itself, but was worth it.

we were lucky in that our MC happened to work with an IC that specialized in CSA. we agreed that they could share information that pertained to our healing from the affair and rebuilding our M. we did simultaneous MC and individual IC (our MC was my IC). it was a buttload of work and sometimes overwhelming, but it worked for us.

[This message edited by unfound at 1:35 PM, June 20th (Thursday)]


ka-mai
*******************
From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity. DK

Posts: 14835 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
Bravenewgirl
Member
Member # 36267
Default  Posted: 1:39 PM, June 20th (Thursday)

WH was abused by much old male cousin. He never told me, until 10 seconds after OW handed me a letter outing the affair.

It was poor timing to reveal such a devastating secret.

WH has told me that while in IC during the affair, his IC asked him to think about the parallels between the abuse and the A. He said the questions knocked for a loop, because he had never considered that he might be acting out.

Upon reflection, he saw a lot of parallels: the shame, the guilt, the secrecy, the sensual confusion etc.

I think the abuse contributed to his shitty choices, but it does not excuse them in any way. BS trying to R with a SA WS should not require any less of their partners in trying to heal the marriage.


Don't come around here no more
-Tom Petty

Posts: 661 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Canada
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 9:52 PM, June 20th (Thursday)

casper,
Your post is so thought provoking and helpful. I'm going to share it with my WH.

There is a deep seeded drive to prove one's unworthiness and an inherent knowledge that we don't deserve love or anything good. Those are the messages we get when we are abused, and those are the messages we seek to fulfill.

WH isn't as eloquent as you are, but he said after the affair started, he felt like "See, I really am rotten. I always knew the day would come when I would screw up so bad and you would realize that you're too good for me." Then, he expected (and still expects) that I would leave him because I couldn't love who he really is deep down.

To me, this makes no sense. I married the perfect man for me--smart, generous, intuitive, strong work ethic, completely loyal, and passionate about me. That is who he is to the core. If he were worthless, why would his marriage, family, career, and life be so good?

I had twelve years of my best friend and lover, until he morphed into this cruel, irrational jerk. He had cheated, He says he felt more worthless than ever, but he treated me like I was worthless. He says he felt insecure, but to me he was arrogant and emotionally abusive. So, yes, he became a POS.

But since he had to become his polar opposite in order to match the voice in his head, why didn't it occur to him that the voice was wrong?

I'm going to keep studying your message. Thank you so much for using your experience to help others!

[This message edited by sailorgirl at 9:56 PM, June 20th (Thursday)]


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, June 21st (Friday)

Thanks everyone for sharing. This is a thread I can see getting "bumped" to help people in the future.

He mentioned repeatedly that he felt like a "different person" and did things that he felt were out of character. My IC called this disassociation, which can be a consequence of CSA.

Disassociation: the word is new to me, but the sensation is all too familiar. Do you ever feel like you're watching yourself in a movie? Like, you know what you're doing is wrong but it plays out anyway?

Disassociative identity disorder is what they used to call "multiple personality disorder." Few CSA survivors meet that clinical threshold, but many of us fall on the "disassociative spectrum." IMO it helps explain how WSs can truly believe we love our spouses when our actions indicate the opposite. BH has seen me disassociate, seen me snap into a different personality, usually when I drink too much.

Disassociation can explain how waywards disconnect from our feelings of guilt, or how our moral compasses go berserk.

since he had to become his polar opposite in order to match the voice in his head, why didn't it occur to him that the voice was wrong?

Why, oh why? This is what I am working to figure out. My whole life I've escaped frequently to daydreams (a form of disassociation), usually fantasies with a sexual element. My IC says that is me trying to process the CSA trauma. Tragically, I sought to bring that fantasy world to life. Now I realize I justified my As by projecting my feelings of resentment (about the CSA) onto my BH and M. Instead of turning toward BH for help, I turned away from him. Why? Poor coping mechanisms, sure, but ultimately I made a choice.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1109 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, June 21st (Friday)

Anybody else's WS have these type of interactions?

Yes, my WW very often says she would be like a different person, watching herself act out all these things like it wasn't her. She also did morph into someone else. I still see a shadow of that other women (wife morphed) when she has a bit too many drinks or during sex. It's almost scary to me because what if she turns into this person again?

I've read all the stuff here and some other stuff online and wow, it all makes sense now. Her unhappiness drove her to listen to those voices she was suppressing for so long. She did act out the abuse on someone else. A willing adult who she could control thru flirting and sex.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
sri624
Member
Member # 33956
Default  Posted: 5:01 PM, June 21st (Friday)

you guys...i feel compassion for what happend to my husband...i do....BUT...it still hurts me when i think of all he did, you know? i mean, i am SURE that him being molested as a child did play a role in him becoming an alcoholic.....a cheater...liar....manipulator....you name it...all bad.

but, just like no other "why" really, "helped" me get through this.....this recent news about the molestation has not either. he still knew what he was doing. he was not crazy...or not in control.

no way. he did it and liked it.

and the only reason it stopped is because he got caught, you know?

i have a better understanding of why he is the kind of man he is....what helped shaped him...but he was still a monster.

i am sure most serial killers were abused in some way as kids too....they dont get a pass either.


BS (41):(Former Doormat)
WS (39):(Busted Cheater)
Married: 10 years, 3 kids under 5
DD1: 10/11 PA/EA with pilates instructor/former stripper.
DD2: 10/12 False r, cheating with other women, online dating,Substance abuse issues.
Attempting R in bi

Posts: 934 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Alabama
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 7:01 PM, June 21st (Friday)

why didn't it occur to him that the voice was wrong?

For me, to understand why I was the one chosen to be abused, I must have been bad in some way. On top of that, I had to deal with the hate I used to feel for that little girl who was me. I hated her for being helpless, for not fighting back enough, for not running away. I hated her for being dependent on my abuser for love, affection, to feed, clothe, and home me. The worst part that is hardest to face, is that some parts of the abuse weren't that bad, sometimes there was pleasure. That causes so much fucked upped-ness and confusion, it's almost comical. Acknowledging that there was any sort of response or reaction to the abuse that elicited anything other than horror in my mind...well then those voices are right, and far from wrong. It's easy to fall into the pit where I must have liked it, I wanted the abuse in some way. Rationally, I know that's not true, but it certainly gives power to those voices, and for someone who hasn't worked through their past, I can see how they may give in.

but, just like no other "why" really, "helped" me get through this.....this recent news about the molestation has not either. he still knew what he was doing. he was not crazy...or not in control.

no way. he did it and liked it.

You know, I wasn't crazy either, or not in control. I didn't just morph into someone totally new and not myself. All of that destruction was wrought by me, all of me. That darkness was planted long ago, and I've done my fair share of cultivating it and letting it loose. I'm capable of being that dark again, and because I choose to or not. I can choose to listen to my inner demons, or not.

i am sure most serial killers were abused in some way as kids too....they dont get a pass either.

And nor would you stay married to a serial killer either. And I don't say that with snark, I say it with sincere honesty.

I hope that I'm not giving the impression that my abuse excuses my choices or that it warrants "handle with care" special treatment. My history helps explain why I've done what I have. It doesn't mean I'm owed any more compassion or forgiveness or understanding from anyone, including my spouse. I can understand that a molestation revelation is little comfort to a BS.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 759 | Registered: Jun 2010
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 7:36 PM, June 21st (Friday)

I'm going to disagree a bit. I wouldn't say that my H's CSA gives me comfort, in fact it makes me very sad. But it does help me understand and gives me compassion, and I certainly don't think he's a monster. I'm quite proud of how he has managed to survive all these years completely on his own and do as well as he has. He has made some horrible choices, but he is owning them and working hard to overcome his demons.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1728 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 3:35 PM, June 24th (Monday)

catlover50 - I do agree with you. I still hurt though. I hate what happened, but in a way I can understand or try to understand how broken my WW was prior. Keeping it a secret didn't help. She was a time bomb ready to happen. She needed protection from me and when the need wasn't met 100% (of course I could never satisfy it 100 cause it was out of proportion), she fell out of love and with all the hidden guilt, shame and self loathing it's a recipe for disaster.


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
sailorgirl
Member
Member # 38162
Default  Posted: 9:59 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)

Now I realize I justified my As by projecting my feelings of resentment (about the CSA) onto my BH and M.

I think my WH did this, too, but he doesn't recognize it. He showed so much anger and disdain towards me during the A. When I ask he about it, he insists that he wasn't angry at me--just miserable, confused and lashing out.

I'm fairly good at reading feelings. Why would I feel like he was angry at me if he wasn't? I think he did feel angry at me. It was misplaced, but real.

It still comes out if he feels too vulnerable. He pulls away from me in subtle ways, anger creeps into his tone, and he is likely to blame or criticize me.

For me, to understand why I was the one chosen to be abused, I must have been bad in some way. On top of that, I had to deal with the hate I used to feel for that little girl who was me. I hated her for being helpless, for not fighting back enough, for not running away. I hated her for being dependent on my abuser for love, affection, to feed, clothe, and home me.

My WH has all these feelings, but hasn't come to grips with them yet despite 6 months of IC twice a week. I think he's making some progress, but these thought patterns are stubborn.

What I noticed is that healing is cyclical. And that means recovery from any trauma, infidelity, abuse. I cycle through ups and downs, I relearn things again and again, and each time, it's like it was new...although, things are beginning to stick, shortening the cycles.

It so helpful for me to know that what I was seeing WH go through is normal. I do feel like I'm rugsweeping so that he can go through these cycles. I'm not sure what to do about that, but it sends him into a tailspin if he has to face both the abuse and the affair.

[This message edited by sailorgirl at 10:03 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)]


Married 14 years, three amazing kids
H had 17 month EA/PA
D-day 1/5/13
Reconcilling

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jan 2013
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 8:18 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)

What I noticed is that healing is cyclical. And that means recovery from any trauma, infidelity, abuse. I cycle through ups and downs, I relearn things again and again, and each time, it's like it was new...although, things are beginning to stick, shortening the cycles.

My FWW is not in IC right at the moment and I can see the cycles. She's in the rugsweeping faze again. I hate it, but what am I to do?


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
2married2quit
Member
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 12:00 PM, July 1st (Monday)

Just thought I'd bump this up. Needing answers to my frustration :/


BS - Me 43 WS - Her 41
DDAY - June 2012 (found the texts)
DDAY2 - Next Day (found out who) EA
TT- till 9/2012 (some PA)
Married 20yrs. 2kids
Status: in careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels

Posts: 1311 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
Topic Posts: 40