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#64793 - 02/02/05 02:17 AM family strife
gericareco Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
Hello. My husband was sexually assaulted by the mother of my grandchild, as difficult as that may be to believe. This happened over a year ago and the stress it has caused on our relationship and on our relationship with my son, father of the grandchild has become unbearable. My son does not believe anything happend; my husband refuses to report the abuse nor to discusss it with my son. He has gone to counseling, and seems to be much better...night dreams have ceased and he doesnt' experience asmany triggers as he had before. Of course,the perpetrator denies that anything occurred andthere were no witnesses. I am caught in the middle, believing my husband, but
wanting to preserve my relationship with my son and grandchild. My son is no longer in a relationship with the perpetrator, but he does share custody with the grandchild, who is three years old. This bizarre, almost unbelievable story has me going nearly mad. A recent altercation between my son and husband has broken off the previously amicable relationship that allowed for us all to be together frequently in a loving way. At this point I am chosing to belive my husband, as there is no way he couldhave fabricatedthis story. At the same time, without a formal report, there is no way to heal the family. I am now alienated from my son, my grandson and isolated from my husband, who refuses to talk any more about this. Instead, he thinks any of my questions are simply doubting him and he becomes very angry.
My question is: What would you do to get passed this?


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#64794 - 02/02/05 05:51 AM Re: family strife
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
gericareco,

I'm sorry your family is being divided by this abuse. You mention that your husband has gone to counseling, but I wonder if you've had anyone to talk to about how you've been affected.

What you need and what your husband needs may be different. Sexual abuse strips people of their control and it's important that they be able to regain as much of it as possible after disclosure-- which means, if your husband doesn't want to talk about it right now, it's important for you to respect that decision even if you disagree with it.

You cannot heal your family or your husband; the only one you can heal is yourself. The sexual assault happened to him but that doesn't mean that the effect it's had on you isn't real. If you haven't done so already, try searching the internet for information about secondary survivors.

It's a big step to reach out and ask for help, I'm glad you've done it. There is a lot to learn here, I hope you keep asking your questions.

SAR


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#64795 - 02/03/05 12:11 AM Re: family strife
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Most of what we see here is the result of childhood abuse, so your problem might have many aspects that 'we' as Survivors of childhood abuse have little experience of.

But that won't stop us trying to help I'm sure.

The problems of adult female on male sexual assault are only just beginning to be recognised, and possibly in a remoter part of the world such as Alaska things take a bit longer to get there.
But I suspect the basic things that we feel will also be felt by the adult victim as well.

What we respond to is support, trust, listening and being believed.
There seems to be a bad reaction to being pushed into recovery, therapy etc. I think we relate being pushed, even though we might realise that the intentions are good, with being abused again - it's a loss of control thing. We had no control over our abuse, and we don't like the feeling of not having control, especially when we've started our recovery and have made a conscious decision to reclaim some control over our lives.

It's not easy, but if you've made the decision to support your husband then good for you.

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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#64796 - 02/07/05 11:54 PM Re: family strife
justensmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 10
Loc: Texas
I myself have been in a simular situation with my child and my family. My son now 7 was abused by his biological father and my family went through a huge split. My mother who I spoke to first when my son first made the out cry who told me to turn it in soon after took his fathers side. We didn't speak for almost a year then I got selfish and wanted her to still be able to be a part of my life and her grandchildrens life so I re-kindled the relationship. I made a huge mistake because my son now is suffering more from depression and PTSD and lord knows what else, because I let him down. He has totally blocked out everything that had to do with that point in time, and he either doesn't remember or chooses to forget what happened. But now he still suffers from nightmares, crying, not trusting anyone, holding back his feelings, and all I know now is that I want to make him better, and I can't. I wish more than anything I could take back the things that happened to him, but I can't. I love him so much that it kills me to see him today in so much pain. He will always be my son, and I will always be his mommy, his protector, his friend, but I failed. My only advice to you is always stay by your hubbies side, he needs you, don't ever make him feel like you doubt him, and even though it is hard between you and your son, and not being able to see your grandchild, you have to stand up for those who couldn't stand for themselves when this happened to them. Your husband is no different than my son, and he needs you now and will continue to need you. Keep your head high and know that miracles can happen. As for me, I am taking things day by day with my son. I tell him everyday how much mommy loves him, and I promise him that while I am around nothing will harm him ever again.

_________________________
"The truth will set us free"

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#64797 - 02/12/05 04:40 AM Re: family strife
tw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 1
This is the first time for me to be at this site.
My husband finally came forward with the abuse and neglect he has been holding inside forever. He now cant hold it in any longer. He has started therapy with a therapist as well as i am seeing the same therapist. The confusion in both of our minds is over whelming. We want to recover from the suffering and get on with our lifes. We really dont know where to start so many questions swirl our heads. My husband cant confront the perpetrator because he is no longer around but does he tell his mother who is failing in health or does he deal with it himself. We are very confused!!!


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#64798 - 02/13/05 12:53 AM Re: family strife
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
tw
Hi,
we, as Survivors, have many difficult choices to make. And some of them are so enmeshed with other peoples lives they are impossible to predict the outcome of. Such as telling his mother who is old.

I have a similar problem. I was abused at a boarding school by non family members, and my parents don't know. "Do I tell them?"
Part of me want's to, I would like the certainty that they would believe me and support me even after 36 years since the abuse stopped.
I would also like to hear them tell me how they would have reacted at the time.

But the facts are my father is 86 and showing his age, and my 84yo mother has dementia and wouldn't understand anyway. So the choice for me is made, I can't possibly tell them and add further worries to their lives.
For me, I just have to deal with it. I 'know' that my parents loved me, and would have protected me if they could. I 'know' that the sense of betrayal I feel ( and part of that creeps into my relationship with my parents still ) comes from the headmaster who didn't believe me and allowed the abuse to continue.

Since starting therapy / healing in 1998 I have learned a lot about myself, so I know that I can deal with this secret, but back in 98 I felt very differently about it.
Back then I had serious doubts about how they might react to hearing I was abused, but those doubts said more about 'me' than my very poor relationship with my parents at that time.

I am now seeing that working on the relationship and regaining the closeness I lost over many years is far more beneficial to me, and hopefully them as well.

Also, Survivors tend to disclose to people when it feels right for them, there's no way of telling when that time is. It's something we just 'feel'.

I wouldn't push him either way, discuss the angles and possibilities with him for sure. He'll probably need someone to bounce his thoughts off.
But the decision should be his in the end.

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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#64799 - 02/13/05 06:48 PM Re: family strife
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
tw

This link is for an article on the site that you or your husband might want to check out if you haven't already.

If your husband has already decided that he wants to make some changes and start healing, then as Dave says, he'll probably "feel" what's right for him to do-- that's not to say that he should make decisions lightly, especially where others are concerned-- but I know that for my boyfriend, part of his healing, especially at first, was about allowing himself to relax, clear his mind and trust his instincts about what to do next.

As a boy other people told him what "he" wanted-- it's easier to get people to do what you want them to do if you can make them think it's what they want to do-- and to cope, he stopped listening to himself about what it really was that he wanted.

Today he still finds it difficult, but very empowering, to figure out what he wants and act on it-- even with little things like what movie we're going to see. With every decision he makes for himself, he gets more power and self-confidence to tackle the harder, more confusing stuff.

SAR


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#64800 - 02/16/05 10:46 PM Re: family strife
gericareco Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Anchorage, Alaska
To everyone who replied to my quest for support:

Thank you so much! It is truly wonderful to hear other peoples' perspectives. I know that a person has to be ready to disclose, and that dealing with abuse is a huge insult to recover from. I also know that it is for the victim to recover, not myself. Yet, somehow I feel victimized also, by the loss of trust and peace in my family caused by this experience. I am doing better, and my husband seems well as long as I remain calm with him, but there are frequent triggers that cause him fear, pain and guilt. I am curious about the response regarding how we react to something in our adulthood is related to something that occurred in our childhood. I was sexually assaulted when a child, and then again in my first marriage. I hadn't considered that some of my fears and anger are related to my own experience with abuse and not being believed myself. Thank you, for that; it gives me much insight into why I am so devastated by all of this.

Best wishes to everyone. I will keep you in my prayers and thank you for all your support. Keep up your own good work and support for those you love, as well.

Gericareco


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