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#47597 - 02/25/03 09:28 AM Can you help? I'm confused...
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ
First off, I know you only want posts from survivors here but I could't find another appropriate place to post this. Since you guys are all survivors, you seem the best qualified. I hope you can help clarify things for me, or refer this to someone who can. Last night I learned that my husband had two incestuous encounters with his sister. She was 17 and he was 13. Their mother had abandoned the both to the care of their alcoholic father and the sister was in a position of authority over him. I can't help but feel that my husband is the victim rather than the perpetrator here. He feels that he is the one at fault because he went to her bedroom. He believes that the sister doesn't even remember that it happened, but I think otherwise. I had a conversation with her a year ago with regard to my husband's struggle with alcoholism and I had said that I thought he had something from his past that he was hiding and she said to me, "well I know everything". Furthermore, based on the research I've done, his behaviors are very typical of the "victim" category. The sister is still very controlling of him to this day and I think there's a lot more to it that my husband even knows as his perspective of this is still that of a twelve year old. So can you tell me if you think he is the victim or the perpetrator? Also, he's the one that came forward about it after twentysomeodd years. Thank you to anyone who can shed some light on this!!!


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#47598 - 02/25/03 10:41 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
men and boys are the ones who initiate sex, aren't they? well, that is what we as men like to believe, and society tends to go along with that. without details, it is impossible to know what happened, and overall it really isnt important. what is key in my mind is how your hubby deals with it. heck, even people who were raped may be perfectly adjusted and healthy because they have dealt with it in healthy ways. problems are the ultimate judge of how things have affected us as people. if we are struggling, it doesnt matter why we are, just that we are.

your husband may not have been abused. it may have been totally consensual, but if he is not dealing with it well, it is still a problem. you would have to know many more details to make the call.

in the end only he can do the work, and get the help, and make the effort. this isnt something anyone can do for him. you can support him, comfort him, and be there for him, but this is his battle. overcoming internal problems, whether it is abuse or something else is a very personal thing. no one can force it on you

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#47599 - 02/25/03 10:48 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
SandyW.
Believe me I am no expert on the subject from a clinical point of view.
Keeping it a secret for so long is a coping mechanism. So is alocholism and drug use. I have uesed both and am a member of AA for the past 26 years. We carry a whole lot of baggage about ourselves. Why did my body betray me. Why did it feel good and why did I let in happen over and over and over. There is a lot of self-loathing. When I was abused as a child and later as a teen my perps, because of my body's reaction were quick to let me know that they were only giving me what I wanted. Boy does that ever shut you up fast about thinking of telling someone. Any perp will try and shift the blame to the victim. It keeps us quiet. Read alomost any post here and the story, while having different characters, follows the same plot line. I am just guessing here, but from you de>
_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#47600 - 02/25/03 10:58 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ
Okay, but I don't buy into that men and boys are the ones who initiate sex. The sister is very flirtaceous, even now. Yeah, there are lots of details I didn't include and certainly many more my husband didn't disclose. Given the age difference and maturity level (13 yo boy and 17 yo girl) I find it hard to understand that is was "consentual" as consenting adults would define it. I know that prior to him exposing this, it caused him to suffer greatly in depression, isolation, self loathing, suicide attempts, alcoholism, drug use, etc. Your right about the details not being important and dealing with "the now". I just think that if he was victimized and realized this instead of taking full accountability for it, he would be able to heal. The sister is very controlling to this day, and in retrospect, I can see how she uses the unspoken against him to control him. This is what reinforces my belief that he could be the victim.


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#47601 - 02/25/03 11:12 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
i meant the comment about men initiating it as sarchasim. what i was trying to say is that as men we like to think we are in contol of our bodies. it is hard for many men to think that they were victimized. in fact, there is a good article on that very thing if you check out the articles on this site.

your husband's problems may not stem from abuse, but may be a problem accepting that he slept with his sister. i mean for years, i had a major problem accepting that i had slept with a man. though my abuse contributed to it happening, i was in complete control when i did it. if your husband feels he is sick for sleeping with her, for liking it and wanting to do it, he may have serious issues with that alone, and not feel abused.

being sexual, even at 13 isnt always molestation or abuse. it can be normal and healthy, is what i am trying to point out. is he a victim? that depends on what is happening inside of him.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#47602 - 02/25/03 11:14 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
He is the VICTIM. In his mind it is his fault and that is what every perp wants to leave in the victims mind. The perp locks up the little child and ensures that the victim keeps he cell locked by implicating them in the assault as not being a victim. What a crock of Shit that is. Let him see the posts here. The commonality of the posts is wierd.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#47603 - 02/25/03 11:32 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ
So how do I best support him in recovery and healing? When confronted with this last night I responded very poorly, even though our pastor was there to mediate. I even blurted out that if I had known, I never would have married him. That, of course, reinforced the shame he feels. We talked about it later and I explained that my response was completely emotion driven and that I was on emotional overload. I reasurred him that I was not going to leave him (obvious abandonment issues due to his mother), that I love him, and that I was not repulsed by this and that I still found him desirable in a carnal sense. I have trouble imagining that sexual activity at that age can be normal and healthy, or that one at that age even has the facility to understand consentual. I can speak on this from first hand experience.


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#47604 - 02/25/03 11:55 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
myself, i struggle to feel secure. i keep waiting for the day my wife doesnt want me around. when you dislike yourself, it is very hard to accept that another can love you despite these awful flaws you see in yourself. the best things you can do are to keep the communications open and honest, and to remind him of your commitment to him and his efforts to recover.

my first consensual relationship lasted for three years until a move separated us. though at thirteen, i wouldnt have called it love, i am now certain we were very much in love. we were best friends, shared everything, and as we turned from children to teens, we shared sex. i think me being abused accelerated it, because i knew what to do more than someone that age normally does, but i am certain we would have ended up there even without the abuse. anywhere from ten up, the hormones get going, and we have the tools to enter into a mutual relationship. it might not always be healthy or constructive, but we can make the choice. like adults, it can also be rape, but it isnt in every case.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#47605 - 02/25/03 12:04 PM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Sandy,
Recently there was another wife who just discovered that her husband had an incestuous relationship with his sister. I believe her name is Vida and her post is titled "How do I suppress my anger?" and is located in the Friends & Family section.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000187

I would like to draw your attention there because the series of replies fits nicely to your situation.

Now to let you know, I had a few incestuous encounters with my sister starting when I was 5. She was 12. I won't go much into this because most of the information is located in the post that I mentioned earlier.

With the information that you have provided I would belive that there were many boundaries that were crossed long before your husband ever walked into his sister's room. Your husband may not tell everything because it is incredibly embarrassing to talk about. The reason I say this is because my sister was the one who initially crossed the first boundary. That set a precedent that then allowed me to initiate some of the other encounters. Because I initiated some of them it became incredibly difficult for me to view it as sexual abuse. It wasn't until I realized that my life was somewhat off track that I began to take notice of my childhood experiences. Mike Church noted:
Quote:
Read alomost any post here and the story, while having different characters, follows the same plot line.
This is when I truely made the connection that I had indeed experienced sexual abuse. I shared the characteristics of abuse.

To address your question about victomization, the guys who were abuse by males can more easily see themselves as victoms. When it is a female, when you enjoyed it, when you initiate it it and when it is a nurturing family member is hard to view yourself as a victom. But his sister, like mine, had more power than he and she allowed him to continue. Logically I know that I was victomized but emtionally I still have a hard time understanding this. According to your de>
_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#47606 - 02/25/03 04:49 PM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Sandy
My childhood experience is vastly different, but I was a victim of SA, and a victim of the abuse of power.

The sexual aspect often isn't the most important part, neither is the abuser. Often it's the abuse of power that's the defining aspect that affects us.
This also destroys our trust in other people and makes us feel inferior and dirty.
And from what I can remember about being 13 sex, in whatever situation, had a huge attraction. So whatever happened will more than likely seem consensual to the victim, that's what gives us so much confusion and destroys our self esteem.

The difference between 13 and 17 is huge if you consider the maturity of the people involved, and if the older girl used any amount of influence, temptation or whatever to seduce her younger brother then it was sexual abuse.
Somehow I doubt that it would be the other way around.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#47607 - 02/26/03 11:48 AM Re: Can you help? I'm confused...
SandyW Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/03
Posts: 86
Loc: NJ
Thank you everyone, for your insight and encouragement. To see how far you guys have come is really encouraging and I admire your courage in coming forward. Before this came forward, I thought of my husband as a coward who was always running away or drinking away his problems. Now I really see how brave he is.


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