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#68426 - 11/19/03 09:48 PM My husband...
EverHopeful Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/19/03
Posts: 5
Hello. I just found this board and I hope I can get some insight here.

My husband and I have been married for fifteen years. When we'd been married a few months, he told me that when he was a child he was fondled by a teenaged neighborhood boy. He said that it happened on more than one occasion, and that his mother was suspicious and questioned him for some reason about the incidents (and that he didn't tell her anything) and that the older boy threatened that if he told anyone, there would be some repercussion.

When he told me, I asked him how he felt about the boy. He dismissed the whole thing, saying the guy was “just a freak.” It struck me at the time that he had dealt with it pretty well, and I thought the fact that he told me about it so readily was a good thing.

Now, fifteen years later, I know my husband a whole lot better and I fear he didn't deal with it so well after all. His self esteem is low, he has frequent rages over small things (or so they seem to me,) and he has on a few occassions in the last year cut himself.

There are so many stories of horrendous abuse that some children suffer, that this seems mild. But my question is: is this mild? Could his experience account for these problems he's having now?

Any comments will be appreciated.


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#68427 - 11/19/03 10:08 PM Re: My husband...
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Everhopeful,

Glad you found this site--you will find the people here helpful, insightful, supportive and very *real.*

I only have a few minutes at present to reply to your query, but ANY kind of molestation/abuse endured by a child/adolescent can certainly result in low self-esteem, self-mutilation behaviours, etc. Without knowing more about you, your husband and your marriage, I have no other thoughts to offer at this time, though others might--especially men who know first-hand what your husband may be experiencing, despite the many years since the abuse incidents occurred (latent effects?). [I myself have been the partner
of a man who was SA'd for years as a child, though in my case I am now, very sadly, in the process of moving out.]

One question: Can you think of anything that happened last year which may have triggered your husband's self-mutilation behaviours? I do know that deliberately cutting one's self is often a means used to escape, deaden or minimize emotional and/or psychic pain. Also, have you asked your husband about these things directly (recently)? And if so, what was his response?

Best of luck to you and your husband.

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#68428 - 11/19/03 10:39 PM Re: My husband...
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Hello & Welcome EverHopeful,

I think that your husband should consider finding some therapy. This he needs to decide to do on his own, or it won't be a pleasant experience for either of you. The home page has a good article on how to find a therapist.

The article Ten Facts about Sexual Abuse of Boys and its Aftermath covers many of the points that you have described in your post.

I, as many others here, have tried to hide these feelings. We may be successfull for a short period of time, but we can't contain them for ever. Something out there will end up triggering it and all those pent up feelings (rage, anger, guilt, anxiety, and the list goes on) will come out - in an uncontroled outburst or worse.

It sounds like your husband has been hiding his feelings about is SA and has done his rationalization, but never really addressed his feelings. This could very easily explain his frequent rages.

Please invite your husband to read through the posts here. A lot can be seen about yourself in reading the posts and responses that others like him have writen. Sooner or later he may wish to post a thought or concern of his own. And if he wants a more private area, there is the Member's only section. The cost of membership is based upon his income, and it provides so much more help than the money could ever bring.

Take care EverHopeful, God bless you for caring and wanting to take care of your husband. But, the healing must come from within him and he needs to feel safe taking the journey to a better well-being.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#68429 - 11/20/03 08:58 AM Re: My husband...
EverHopeful Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/19/03
Posts: 5
Thanks, you two.

About his cutting: when he's done it it's always in response to job frustrations. He does have a lot of pressure in his job, and he blames it for any and all distress that he feels in his life. The last time it happened, I told him that if it happened again he would have to get some professional help. I guess that "scared him straight."

Which leads to the next suggestion of therapy. I know that that is what he needs but I have vainly hoped that we could get along without it. He is the most closed person I have ever known when it comes to talking about his feelings. If asked, he seems confused and says he doesn't know, and I tend to believe him.

We have talked about the SA only once since he first told me about it. I brought it up about 3 years ago, having read that SA victims sometimes have stomach problems (which he has.) The "don't go there, girlfriend" vibe was so strong that I didn't pursue it further.

The suggestion that he come to the board is a good one and I believe it would help him. But a big part of me believes that if he were a person who would do that readily, I wouldn't be here myself, now.

Anyway, thanks again. I feel that I must bring the subject up to him, but it ain't gonna be pretty.


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#68430 - 11/20/03 08:13 PM Re: My husband...
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Everhopeful
It doesn't matter a bit what or how the abuse took place, just being shown porn as a child by someone who has some kind of 'authority' over the child (like a slightly older boy ) can have the same results as years of violent sex abuse .

There is NO league table.

The man you love and talk about shows many signs of a victim / survivor.
The inward looking person, the reluctance to talk about it - although he's said more than I did for 31 years ! , the self harm ; it all makes sense to us. They're survival techniques.

It's what gets us through the day, and the day after. One at a time.
My survival techniques were different, and I hated them so much - but they kept me alive, right until the time I said "ENOUGH" and found therapy.

I was desperate for someone to say to me "Is the reason that you're so screwed up now because you were sexually abused as a boy ?" but nobody ever said that to me, everyone just accepted me how I was, but I was good at faking 'real life'

I always say to partners that we can't be dragged kicking and yelling into recovery or therapy, but it was only when I became aware that what happened to me as a boy might be abuse and not 'the sex we did' that I thought "There's help for this stuff ?"
I'd followed the scandal of George Michael the pop star and a UK politician who'd been caught with their pants down in public toilets, and they both said they were getting help, and abused as boys.
Also a small advert in our local newspaper told me about a charity that provided therapy for abuse survivors.

That was what I needed, just a bit of information that told ME that what I was experiencing was possibly something I could do something about.
It was enough for me make my OWN decision.

I hope this helps.

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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#68431 - 11/21/03 10:54 AM Re: My husband...
EverHopeful Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/19/03
Posts: 5
Thanks, Dave. Last night I talked to him about his experience, and it went better than I'd hoped (or feared?)

I basically just told him what I'd learned about SA, and that I believed that his experience had a lot (everything!) to do with his current problems, and that I would get some material for him to read. I'm thinking to give him the "Ten Facts..." sheet.

After I said my piece/peace, I asked him how he felt, and he said "loved."

So it's a start.

Thanks again, and thanks for this board.


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