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#406503 - 08/11/12 07:08 PM Telling Your Wife
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1601
Loc: New England
Last night in the chatroom a guy got on my case for not telling my wife about my abuse. I only told my therapist a week ago and am still processing it myself,but I imagine at some point I will tell her. I'm afraid of the reaction I will get. We are estranged at present, from years of my being an asshole to live with, and I'm not sure we can put things back together. But could some of you share your experiences of telling your wives and the reactions you got?
_________________________
I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

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#406519 - 08/11/12 10:59 PM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
Shields Offline


Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Georgia
Garydosh,

I have been in this same situation as have a lot of Men on MS. Telling my wife was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was very afraid of the reaction I would get from her, but my choice was either to tell her or lose her forever. I was not willing to give her up, so I opened up and let her in. It was the best thing that I could have done. We still have lots of issues, and many ups and downs in our life, but we are making attempts to work on it. I do encourage you to eventually tell her, but you need to do this at your own pace. I completely understand your fear, but what I have learned about myself is that the fear is what almost ruined my marriage...speaking out just may have saved it.

Shields

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#406520 - 08/11/12 11:23 PM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
seikei Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 94
Hi Garydosh and welcome to MS,

I'm not married, but I had a similar situation with my parents a few years back. Telling someone whether it be your wife or a distant acquaintance is a very emotionally trying act. I agree with Shields that you should tell your wife on your own time according to your personal conscience as opposed to please some guy in a chat room. Not to harbor ill will against our community, but I personally find that behavior to be very inappropriate. I respectfully encourage you to tell her eventually, but I will certainly not "get on your case" for not telling her right now. This community is supposedly made so that we may help each other however fast or slow that healing may be, not chastise each other for not healing the right way. But I digress. As I said I actively encourage you to tell your wife when YOU are ready. There is nothing more freeing than finally being able to release some of the darkness about CSA by talking about it with another person. My parents were very distraught at first, but went on to become some of my greatest allies and supporters in my healing. I expect that it will be the same with your wife.

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#406535 - 08/12/12 04:15 AM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
Jonah Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Gary,

I went the other route. My wife found out after she nabbed my i-pad for some makeup tips and found some porn. Naturally i tried to hide it and lie about it (to retain that all important aspect of control). Flash forward to a week later and it's not good. I have unintentionally hurt the person that I love most in the world first, by lying, and second, throughfinally owning up to the porn use. So, here i am having a panic attack at one in the morning because, in my desperate attempt to undo the damage my lies have caused, i am plunging into dealing with my CSA issues at a rate that is far faster than comfortable. It's really hard, but i am holding together. What adds to it is that she's kind of confiscated my computer stuff which, although i think she has every right to do it, really feels coercive. It's weird, but i am very sure that i got more out of proving my control over my body to myself than actual sexual gratification when i was medicating with porn. Now that she's in control of that, it feels like a violation and i am freaking out inside. Anyway, after venting, i think disclosure is the best thing. In retrospect, my wife would have supported me through this if i had possessed the courage to tell her about it. I am sure of that. Since SHE discovered my lies, she's naturally exerting her power and being very suspicious, which is tough to cope with when you're hurting as much as you imagine it's possible to do.

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#406540 - 08/12/12 05:54 AM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3707
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Garydosh -

telling a wife is definitely the way to go - as the others have said - but the guy in chat was overstepping his place in pushing you. but don't wait too long - as Jonah's story shows, for her to discover it is worse that you revealing it yourself. my story is very similar to Jonah's. my wife was angry and hurt and disgusted when she found me out - and even more upset with my lies and denial and deception. we are still trying to resolve that - 10 months later and after ongoing couples counseling and repeated explanations and apologies from me. she is supportive up to a point - but still feels like a victim herself - so is trying to heal herself and unable to get on my side quite as much as i'd like - and as much as she probably would have if i'd been more open to begin with.

you can find more about the wife's side of the situation if you look at posts on the Family & Friends forum. there are lots of wives who post there and are very clear about how they felt when they found out - under varying circumstances. but proceed with care. it can be pretty difficult to read some of it.

and i agree 100% with Shields:
" I completely understand your fear, but what I have learned about myself is that the fear is what almost ruined my marriage...speaking out just may have saved it."

Lee
_________________________
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"


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#406542 - 08/12/12 06:10 AM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
Jonah Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
" I completely understand your fear, but what I have learned about myself is that the fear is what almost ruined my marriage...speaking out just may have saved it."

Hallaleujah!

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#406543 - 08/12/12 06:17 AM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
jay75 Offline


Registered: 07/23/12
Posts: 145
Gary,

Everyone has a different reaction from their wife. I have been married for 17yrs but have been with my wife for 20yrs never in all these years did I ever imagine having a conversation with her about my abuse. I didnt feel safe I felt it would disgust her or worse she would reject me altogether. 3weeks ago my world came crashing down on me, I was no longer able to function due to my depression and trying to deal with my abuse. I came home from work and my wife asked me how my day was and I fell apart, she thought I had just recieved news that someone had died because she has never seen me cry. I couldnt hold it in we went into the bedroom to talk so our kids couldnt hear and I unloaded. I told her what happend without divulging too much detail. She was over the top supportive, it was not the reaction I expected. Now three weeks later she keeps helping me through this just last night she came to me and said " I get why you acted the way you did when...." It has allowed her to heal as well I never realized what an effect it had on her life. She understands why our sex life has come to a hault, why my " Jay moments" as she calls them are so frequent. She points little things out to me that are obvious behaviors linked to my CSA.


All I can say is do it when you are ready, and remember she has been dealing with it without even knowing. so at some point she does deserve to know. If I could offer up some advice, dont troll the family and friends forum for this answer it sent me into a tail spin and made it harder for me to tell. You know your wife better than anyone im sure it will give her clarity for things she doesnt understand about you.

Best of luck to you Gary...... -Jay-
_________________________
"Those are not your sins" A wise man

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#406559 - 08/12/12 11:57 AM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
oriolesguy Offline


Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 108
Loc: Long Island, NY
Hey Gary,
Like you, I labored over this whole thing. As the irony of life would have it, my wife is a social worker who counsels victims of domestic violence, substance abuse victims, and yes, rape victims.

I had to build up the courage, and it took longer than I would have liked. I didn't want to turn my home into anything resembling her office. Then it wouldn't be a home for her. On top of that, of course, I was afraid it would spell the end of my marriage.

I think I had to do do two things in order to tell her. First, I had to admit to myself that I was a rape victim, not once but several times over. I hid that, or tried to, and it didn't work. So I had to face myself that way. Second, I had to resolve that I would become a better husband and person, despite what happened. Our relationship could have been better, but I didn't realize at the time that the sexual assault issues were in the way. I have been through therapy, and was already in it when I decided it was time to tell her.

In one of my first posts here, back in 2008, I told my story, and one of my concerns was telling my wife. I've posted the thread here, and if you're so inclined, give it a read.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...1634#Post261634

Needless to say, I have told her. It was painful at first, one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but once it was out, then a better relationship was in the cards. Holding this back was hurting her as well as me. I'm not saying that all ending are happy ones, but I can testify that it worked for me.

Bottom line, Gary, is to do what's right for you. But before you do, accept yourself, accept what happened, and move forward.

Oriolesguy

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#406565 - 08/12/12 01:06 PM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
Dan99 Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 100
Loc: Washington DC
I won't go into my own experiences here. But I would say that only you know who you should tell and when and how much.

I think talking to a therapist about it is great. Don't be pressured. You're in charge of this, and what is right for one is not right for everyone.

Is she entitled to know? Is it the right thing to do to talk to her? Anyone here in a chatroom who pretends to know these answers for you is full of shit. I don't know you, let alone your wife. I have no idea how she would react. Would she decide to support you or use this information to attack you?. Would she keep it to herself or need to talk to others about it? And most importantly, I don't even know what you would want in response.

These are all personal matters that you can work on, and I suggest talking with your therapist who actually knows you and your situation.

Take care,

Dan

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#406602 - 08/12/12 08:06 PM Re: Telling Your Wife [Re: Jude]
seikei Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 94
Dan has a point. Only you can know whether its a good idea to relay to your wife the abuse you suffered. We can offer our support but ultimately it will be your choicr seeing as you know her best.

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