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#145209 - 03/13/07 05:32 PM Not sure what to do..
lra Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 1
My husband very recently disclosed that he was sexually abused as a child..not necessarily because he wanted to, but because his mother had disclosed to me that his brother was abused. When I mentioned this to my husband he then disclosed his abuse to me and that he had never told anyone of this including his family. When I say disclosed, he said it happened to him and he never wanted to discuss it again nor did he want me talking to anyone else. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and as you can imagine I was more than shocked. I attempted to bring it up again three more times to which he was very unreceptive. I love my husband very much and feel like we have a good relationship, however I am feeling a lot of different things because of this. What is most difficult at this time is that as far as I am concerned we have had very little between us that we did not discuss with each other. I want to respect my husbandís wishes however I am confident that this will push me away from him. I am thinking about asking him if I can go to counseling. I really want to be supportive of him and thoughtful about how I handle this..any advice?

#145236 - 03/13/07 09:12 PM Re: Not sure what to do.. [Re: lra]
Born to Resist Offline

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Southern California, USA
You going to counseling is a great idea! You may also want to pick up a copy of Victims No Longer by Mike Lew to gain an understanding of what your husband is going through. You could leave it lying around as well, he just might pick it up when he is ready.

The most important thing you can do is just let him know that you love him and will always be there to support him. Whenever he wants to talk about the abuse you'll be there. Unless he is behaving self destructrictively, which needs to be addressed immediately, he needs his space.


#145253 - 03/13/07 11:37 PM Re: Not sure what to do.. [Re: Born to Resist]
Brokenhearted Offline

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Ira, my husband and I have been married for 14 yrs and have a 4-yr-old daughter, and his childhood abuse issues just recently started distancing him from me. So I understand the confusion you are feeling. The best I can offer right now is that his recovery will be a long road, and one or both need to find a therapist who is experienced in male childhood sexual assault issues, and don't take things personally when he wants to be alone or not talk about it. Try to be there as his friend and give him the space he needs, pray about it, and read on this board and Mike Lew's book. I also read "Trauma & Recovery" and "Allies in Healing," two other books that helped me understand what's going on.

I hope and pray that your husband will eventually come here to learn also and to feel less alone. I told mine about this site about 7 months ago, and he hasn't come here yet. It takes a lot of patience. I go to a therapist myself and he does too, we go separately. So far he has yet to begin to trust the therapist enough to talk about his abuse. He won't tell me anything of it either. It's hard for us as their wives.

Hang in there and learn all you can,


It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

#145320 - 03/14/07 07:40 AM Re: Not sure what to do.. [Re: Brokenhearted]
AshSurvived Offline

Registered: 01/07/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
That's some good advice Ira. And next time you pop into the chat, feel free to stay. That was me this morning (bongobrain).

You will probably get some good realtime advice there when it's busy, sometimes even just watching how others interact can be instructive, even if you don't feel like participating.

What the others have said: educate yourself. With me it has been the opposite, me making my wife educate herself so she feels more hopeful and informed. It's hard, because I have been trying to fix myself for years, but when it came down to owning up to abuse, I really didn't want to face it. Now I can't believe how naive I was, it seems ridiculous to even think that I believed it was my fault and I was just 'fucked up' for no reason.

I think just loving and supporting and educating are the best options for now. A shrink might be helpful, but it might also be divisive, cos it becomes 'your thing' to see a shrink. Just like it's always been my thing to try to solve my problems, whereas my wife has always preferred to ignore them and hope they'll go away. I think having some hope of recovery, putting a name on what is wrong with me, with us has been the defining factor in choosing to change and turn my life around.

Also, by reading lots of stuff here, like I said, you'll become intuitive about how survivors think and act, that will really influence how you interpret and treat him, and hopefully he will feel that understanding and hope in you and that will be the fertile environment for growth.

Even study me, I'm no expert, I'm just a survivor. I'm probably trigerred and doing something weird right now that you might pick up on. I've been told I'm patronising, whereas to me I am supressing all my feelings and trying to 'give myself' to people, trying to help, trying to connect with others safely - ie: without feelings and trust and risking more hurt. There's just so much to learn.

Edited by AshSurvived (03/15/07 04:10 AM)
"It's your world Dave, I'm just livin' in it"

- Harvey Pekar to David Letterman
(American Splendour)

#145637 - 03/16/07 03:16 PM Re: Not sure what to do.. [Re: AshSurvived]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I was having a bit of a crazy attack Your husband's inadvertent disclosure is very unfortunate. Sounds weird, right? What I mean is that he obviously wasn't ready to disclose and he's sure not ready to go into therapy for something he doesn't even acknowledge. Your post doesnít tell us much, but you do say that your relationship is good so, for now, your husband is not letting the csa affect him or your marriage. I hope that continues. I do believe there are men who manage to deal, but we obviously donít meet them because they donít feel the need to come here. Your husband may be one of those men or heís just plain and simply not ready.

I would let things alone. Forcing a discussion about something like csa will not work out well for you. I get where youíre coming from in that you feel left out of something, but the truth is, it has nothing to do with you and your husband obviously wants to leave it that way.

All of the above being said, Iíd absolutely recommend educating yourself about csa through this site and by reading. Mike Lewís Victims No Longer is a great book with insights we would otherwise not have.

Now this part is going to sound really weird. But I think you have a little bit of an advantage over many partners. You just had this information drop accidentally in your lap, yet your post says everything is great. You decided you better learn a bit about csa, well that is beyond smart because although things may be great now, they may not be in a year, or 5 or 10 but you have the heads up and the ability to educate yourself and interact with partners and survivors alike without the pressures of things blowing up at home. When and if your husband wants to talk to you, you won't be running around like a chicken without a head trying to gain years worth of knowledge in short order; you'll have a leg up.

Stick around IRA, I think youíll be glad you did.

ROCK ON..........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#145688 - 03/17/07 12:25 AM Re: Not sure what to do.. [Re: Trish4850]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon
Trish has a good point Ira. Things may well be OK as of now, but a few years down the road the fecal matter may hit the fan. Not saying it will but it is a definite possibility. It happened that way with me and others here as well, so educate yourself, and remember you cannot fix him. It's a journey he'll have to take pretty much on his own with you there to simply pick up the pieces if need be and to support and encourage him.

Lots of love,


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson


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