Josh, I can relate. I have been married for 20 years now. And about five years ago, I started isolating myself and "acting out" of character....I was beginning to unravel the 9 years of sexual abuse when I was ages 4-13....and I had learned to cope with it all those years.....but for some reason, I was hitting bottom and so I had to come clean. I had to tell my wife about my mental struggles with my early sexual abuse. She wasn't aware of the abuse, and felt it was really shitty of my to not let her in on such a huge part of my life....and I should have told her before I asked her to marry me. I'm lucky that my wife has hung in there. I told her that I couldn't have dealt with this any earlier. I could only now begin to get therapy and work through the struggle to regain my "personhood".....it's very traumatic to deal with the abuse head on. I was about going crazy. My wife through I must have been having an affair, as I was "checked out" of her world and acting odd. Well, I was in trouble emotionally for sure. And after talking with my wife for hours about this, I found a great therapist. And my wife also found a good one for her to talk with. There are so many issues with abuse. I think that reading Victims No Longer, by Lew, really helped. Talking with the therapist.....which now is going on three and a half years. It does take a long time. There are so many issues I've dealt with. First it's the shame and then the blaming myself.....and then feeling like someone who is unlovable.....these are all really deep seated issues, that I had covered up for years! And eventually they find a way to come back and make you deal with it. I'm glad to be this far into the recovery phase. But my mind still plays games with me and it's a battle. I've had to deal with my overworking, workaholic ways, trying to prove myself worthy I guess.....and it's hard for my wife sometimes to understand that sexual intimacy is different for someone who has/had been abused for so long at such a young age. I'm not sure of your circumstance, but abuse is something that should NEVER happen to a child, and it was NOT our fault. It was very unfortunate, and God will get the perps....but it's our work now to talk through the struggles and find healing. I hope your wife is open to talking with you candidely about your feelings. I've had to talk very frankly about sexual thoughts and visions and things that I would rather no one ever knew about me and my mind! But it's the only way out....to be real....to be able to get past the abuse so it no longer holds any power over me.
Just hearing someone say, it happened to me too.....can be SO helpful. I keep thinking that NO ONE could possibly understand what I'm going through.....the mental anguish that I have to deal with every day.....but the one person who can understand and knows EXACTLY what issues and struggles you face, is ANOTHER child abuse survivor. SO keep talking online in this website too. It's totally shitty what we've had to deal with....but thank God we have one another to talk to. It would be great to talk directly and not just type these thoughts, and so I'm anxious to find a weekend of recovery that I can attend in the near future. It would do me good to talk to others with the same issues I have. Let's face it, women have tons of groups to talk with about their sexual abuse, but men have NONE in my area, so this website is about "it" for now! Take care.