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#322189 - 02/15/10 02:19 PM New, could use some advice
apechick Offline


Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 5
Hi,
I have known for some time that my husband was a victim of abuse but he would never discuss it. A few weeks ago he told me about the extent of the abuse and we have been dealing with it on a nearly daily basis since then. He was raped and otherwise abused by 3 men starting when he was about 3 and ending when he was 12. This seems pretty severe to me according to what I have read but he seems pretty ok. He is a professionally and personally successful person who rarely shows any difficulty with his history. He does seem to have some issues surrounding his masculinity, he can be fairly self loathing at times and he has difficulty making decisions. He doesn't think he needs therapy and mostly I tend to agree since he seemed to be coping so well.
However, there a few issues that have been problematic. One of his three abusers now has children. This abuser was severely abused himself and my husband thinks that he was only abusive as a way to cope with his own abuse. I tend to agree, but how can we know that he "got it out of his system" I worry about his children who my be at risk. Also I know that if I were the abusers wife, I would want to know if there was a rapist in my house with my children. My husband is still terrified of the abuser and also feels compassion for him and doesn't want to ruin his life with any accusations. Of course, I am trying not to pressure him to do anything but this doesn't sit well with me as a mother of small children myself. Any opinions on this would be very welcome.
Secondly, since my husband has revealed the abuse to me he has been alternating between exceptionally clingy and cruelly argumentative. I have been trying to ride it out hoping for it to normalize but I could use some input here too. He has told me that he is having anxiety about the way my feelings changed for him when he told me about the abuse. He is exceptionally worried about me leaving him. I think the fights he has been picking with me have been him trying to push me away so that he can be alone with his secret. What can I do here? Keep riding it out? How do I help him move past this?
Finally, does every survivor need therapy? He seems ok most of the time, but if this is causing him pain, I want him to try to get to a place where it is less painful for him. He says that he is only thinking about it now because he revealed it to me, but I am worried that he is not recognizing that telling me is the first step on the road to recovery. He is trying to bottle it back up and go back to the way it was before he told me...I'm not sure this is the healthiest way to go. What do you think?
Thanks for reading, any advice would be very welcome.


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#322190 - 02/15/10 02:47 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: apechick]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
Welcome apechick, thank God for supportive wives. If my reply gets too long I'll finish it in Notepad before posting.

Last point you made first, it won't go back to the way it was, you are right about having started recovery with his first disclosure.

If your husband got to the top professionally despite his history then he can cling to that as a positive, but he can't use work as a crutch anymore. If his disclosure to you is (ironically) changing his behaviour and threatening the marriage, maybe because he fears you will abandon him deep down then it would be crazy to ruin what he has. That's why I believe he might as well make enquiries about therapy open to him in his part of (the country), because my case of making the appointment at Christmas and starting therapy in January is like a lottery win, it almost never happens. He will have time on a waiting list to build up to starting therapy, and this place can serve as a group.

For the moment, though it is difficult as a Mum yourself, you need to forget about one of the perps having kids, it's not down to your husband to understand or forgive them, he needs to get started in healing first and foremost for himself, if he doesn't want therapy then get him on this site at least lurking if not signed up. If that aspect won't go away then it's police report time but that can be done later as a practical milestone once you two are okay in your marriage.

Definitely get him to look at the MS newsletters which are downloadable as PDFs so he doesn't even need to come to the site, especially the one from Feb 09 which gave a lot of general histories of other survivors as a lead-in to the articles. The rest are probably as good, but that's the one that took me longest to read.

I'm not going to say every survivor needs therapy as a rule, just that by getting on with that and working through it, it's time taken back from the abuse and simply coping with it rather than living. There's not comfort in his misery, but familiarity and routine and there is always a fear that that will change, even if it leads to feeling better. However the abuse ended at 12 and now he is [XX] - he should view therapy as parole from that life sentence of his present age minus 12 years old plus the lost childhood, anyone would say that he's served enough time.

In the end I needed therapy anyway and only got it after breaking down but then dealing with the anger led to a police report. As far as I'm concerned the authorities are the only others that need to know outside of a therapist's treatment room, otherwise I'm sure there are ways of your making an anonymous call to your version of the Department of Social Services/Child Protective Services about the perp with kids - later.

Don't try to take it all on yourselves, concentrate on your husband but set ground rules about the way you are treated. If you think you need therapy for yourself, that's been suggested by a lot of partners but they will let you know whether that might help you.

However, be honest with each other, if your feelings changed for him, then let him know how - if you love him even more then no problem, but that would need re-emphasis. If you think there's a problem in the marriage then that also needs working over as well.

Final suggestion; nine years of abuse is a long time, he needs to dump off whatever he can remember of the attacks in a paper diary as the details come to him, that will also serve as evidence later on should he want to do anything legal about it.



Edited by ComicBookGuy (02/15/10 02:54 PM)
_________________________
- CBG

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#322194 - 02/15/10 03:19 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: apechick]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
I'm very saddened that this is playing out in your lives and that your husband was so cruelly abused. It does sound pretty severe.

I don't feel confident to offer advice but just my thoughts from the perspective of a male survivor if that would be helpful. These are very difficult situations and I don't see too much that you can really do. I'm very worried about the abuser with children because this does run in cycles sometimes. Without some good relationship with the children or parents I don't know what you could do.

About your husband, I fear something big is now surfacing that will cause a lot of trouble. Childhood abuse tends to work this way. I would think therapy with the right therapist would be a good idea but only your husband can do this and he sounds unwilling. All this is possibly going to be very hard on you, and I hope you can not take his behavior personally. I'd say, stay in touch with people here as things develop, perhaps do a little legwork on how to find the right therapist in case that's needed and try to be there for him as he goes through some awful stuff.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#322213 - 02/15/10 05:04 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: LandOfShadow]
apechick Offline


Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 5
Thanks for the thoughts.
I should have clarified that my feelings for him have not changed at all except that I feel a bit more protective and nurturing towards him because I did not imagine the severity of it. I knew that he was abused when I signed on for a lifetime with him. I just don't know how to get him to understand that, hopefully all he needs is time.

I will put my worries about the perps children aside until my husband wants to deal with that (if ever). If the time ever comes I will mention the option of notifying social services anonymously. Thanks for that idea.

I am considering going to a group for family of survivors. Hopefully that will be a good start. My husband is extremely reluctant to do anything at all. I don't think he would like me to do that even. I told him about my joining this forum and he seemed concerned about the anonymity of it. I am in favor of him seeing somebody, but he is not ready and I know that I can't make him.

I have another question though. I feel that I am groping in the dark with how to deal with all this. I have been trying to give him space and only talk if he brings it up. Also, he tends to be on the hypersexual side of the scale and that has ramped up quite a bit since he revealed. I have been game in participating but am wondering if this isn't just a way to gloss over the problem. Are there any sort of guidelines for spouses for how to behave or should I just follow his lead?


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#322220 - 02/15/10 05:42 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: apechick]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: apechick
Thanks for the thoughts.
I should have clarified that my feelings for him have not changed at all except that I feel a bit more protective and nurturing towards him because I did not imagine the severity of it. I knew that he was abused when I signed on for a lifetime with him. I just don't know how to get him to understand that, hopefully all he needs is time.

I am considering going to a group for family of survivors. Hopefully that will be a good start. My husband is extremely reluctant to do anything at all. I don't think he would like me to do that even. I told him about my joining this forum and he seemed concerned about the anonymity of it. I am in favor of him seeing somebody, but he is not ready and I know that I can't make him.


Re your feelings, excellent, that's what I was hoping. There is nothing wrong with being concerned about anonymity but you haven't mentioned names or places or current ages, and on this public side of the site, keep it that way.

If he ever changes his mind about coming here then he should join and pay for membership straight away and stick to the member's side of the forum where posts will not show up in Google searching or other search engines. Naturally he also doesn't have to use his real name either.

There's at least one good American book out there for partners of survivors, I think it's Allies in Healing but search on Amazon for that. A group for yourself, if one exists that is free and meets reguarly, is also fine to go to, he has to heal, but you're in it together and you need to have some support of your own.

However for all your other questions, a spouse can answer those better than I can.

_________________________
- CBG

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#322246 - 02/15/10 07:55 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: apechick]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: apechick
....Finally, does every survivor need therapy? He seems ok most of the time, but if this is causing him pain, I want him to try to get to a place where it is less painful for him. He says that he is only thinking about it now because he revealed it to me, but I am worried that he is not recognizing that telling me is the first step on the road to recovery. He is trying to bottle it back up and go back to the way it was before he told me...I'm not sure this is the healthiest way to go. What do you think?


i think: without a doubt yes.
i also agree with landofshadow's last paragraph.

the whole issue coming to light can be life shattering for everyone involved, and i suggest treating it that way with the hope and faith full recovery will be forthcoming.

_________________________
Jeff

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#322268 - 02/15/10 09:49 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: westchesterguy]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 727
Loc: United States
Apechick,

I think in his relationship with you he is a lucky man. Let me reinforce the idea that therapy for him and some specific support group, at least, for you would be a really good idea.

I first started dealing with my CSA about 16 years ago. I stopped therapy a few years in but I recognize now that I need to work actively on what happened to me and being without that support and awareness in the intervening years was a mistake.

Thank you for being so open, caring and engaged with your husband's situation and the beginning of his recovery.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#322342 - 02/16/10 07:29 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: apechick]
bluefairy Offline


Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 52
Hi,

Your husband sounds similar to my boyfriend, he seems to be doing ok most of the time also, but undoubtfully there are times when he seems quite drained by it all. Even if your husband seems to be coping well, he may not be under the surface, but he should go through the healing process at his own pace when he feels ready, although you can help him by presenting him with options. Perhaps his decision to tell you the extent of his csa now is because he is going through a difficult time and is reaching out? This could be also be a reason why he is alternating his behaviour towards you, but as you say it maybe because he is afraid you will leave him now that you know, I have heard alot of survivors have trouble with believing they are worthy of love.

Maybe that's a way of him testing your love, becomming argumentive to see if you will still want to be with him and then he becomes clingy fearing he has pushed you too far. You should keep showing your support, and I know it may be hard to at times, but listening, being patient, understanding and trying your best is all you can do, he needs you the most now after sharing with you this secret he's kept for so long. Don't forget to look after yourself and not drain yourself of energy, which can happen sometimes when you become protective, understandbly so, I also feel protective of my boyfriend, but sometimes it's easy to lose yourself.

Reading posts on this forum will really help you gain more insight, it has helped me, so I recommend you do so and as others have suggested see if your husband will read too, if not join. Wish you both well.

_________________________
There will always be a place for you in my heart

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#323189 - 02/24/10 01:29 PM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: apechick]
divadjt Offline


Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 20
Loc: ohio
My bf of 3 years is also on the hypersexual side--always has been, even before he revealed. When I first knew him I just thought of this as a bonus. After revelation, wondered if it had to do with the abuse. I recently asked him what he felt after sex. He didn't have much to say, but seemed glad that I had asked and is thinking about it. I have been basically feeling my way. Wonder if other spouses/gfs have similar experiences with the hyper sexuality. Is it necessarily related to the csa. I wish you well. Your sensitivity and caring is evident.

_________________________
123456789

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#323650 - 03/01/10 01:18 AM Re: New, could use some advice [Re: apechick]
apechick Offline


Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 5




Edited by apechick (11/29/11 12:43 PM)
Edit Reason: deleted

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