Matt,

My heart goes out to both you and your wife.

My husband's journey of recovery began just over 10 years ago, when he declared early one Sunday morning while we were still in bed, that he was sexually abused. It was a huge shock to me. He had always wanted to be in control of all situations that included him, me and most importantly our two daughters. That was probably the most evident sign of the trauma he had experienced as a young child and later as a teen.

He was very vague at first and his reason for telling me was the fact that he needed to go onto anti-depressants and did not want to be medicated without my knowledge of the fact. That was the first step in the right direction I felt that he had considered me as the most important person (besides himself). This was very important to me.

I obviously wanted to know everything as soon as possible but held back on pushing him, I believed it would be better to allow him to be at ease with the details. I cannot remember whose idea it was but the following weekend we booked a plush hotel room, got babysitters and spent the weekend together.

I think it was the best thing we did. As childhood sweethearts we had a box full of letters we had written to each other whilst he was in the armed services (South Africa had conscription at the time). We took the box with us and read every letter we had written to each other, we spoke for hours and he told me more details of what had happened to him. We cried many tears that night and fell asleep in each others arms. We booked out the next morning ready to jointly face the monster.

Another thing that helped us was I wrote a list of things I wanted to know, questions I needed to ask. My husband kept the list and promised me that he would answer every question BUT in his own time.

To now get back to you and your wife. What the two of you are going through right now can be compared to grieving the loss of something, you are grieving the loss of your innocence and your wife is grieving the loss of the man she thought she had married. Just as you grieve the death of a loved one, you will both probably go through the normal stages, I.e. shock, anger, bargaining, depression and finally (if you are lucky) acceptance. From your posts I am guessing your wife is still in shock and possibly angry and you are experiencing a different stage.

You are both still finding your way in the dark, find each other, remind each other how much you mean to each other and most importantly be a couple. From a female perspective your wife needs to know that you value her opinion way above anyone else and that she will always be the one you turn to.

Heal well!
_________________________
Rosemary

Partner Support
South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Web page www.samsosa.org