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#167993 - 07/20/07 08:25 PM shocking news from my husband
Zaz Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 2
About a month ago my husband shared some shocking news with me and I'm trying to process it. I hope that this board might be able to provide some advice.
To start, let me say my relationship with my husband has not been good for several years, but it got particularly challenging after we had kids (we have a 4 1/2 yr old and a 2 yr old). In the past he's used alcohol to deal with stress which caused problems in our marriage. He also has chronic neck pain that started around the time we had our kids for which he takes pretty heavy-duty pain killers (under the direction of a dr), but he has also been very withdrawn and resentful of my involvement/interest in his healthcare. Overall, he's been more and more withdrawn over the years which has been complicated by the fact that our lives (jobs, house, kids) have gotten more complicated.
So what he shared with me recently was that he was sexually abused when he was a child (for a couple years between 5-7 yrs old). The abuser was the adult son of friends of his family's. He never told anyone. More shocking was that he confided that when he was 18 (and freshly out of Marine Corp boot camp) he tracked the guy down and "made sure it wouldn't happen again" (without getting caught). He gave me details of how he did it - very matter-of-factly. I'm trying to find out whether this is true (or not), but regardless I think he needs help. He thinks he's put that all behind him, but I can't get past it. We discussed it once in couples counseling, but he doesn't want to discuss it anymore. I'm worried about pushing too much, too.
Some of my questions:
- can someone just get over something like that on their own (without professional help)?
- how often does this sort of thing happen? (victim seeking out their abuser and harming them)
- can someone who has gone through something like that ever have a normal relationship (with his wife and kids)?
This is all increadibly upsetting for me. I'm worried about my husband, but I also have two little kids that need me and they are my priority. I'm really at a loss of what to do, though. I feel like I don't know this man I've spent 20 years of my life with, and that scares me.
- Zaz

#168005 - 07/20/07 11:29 PM Re: shocking news from my husband [Re: Zaz]
sweet-n-sour Offline

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Zaz:

First I would like to welcome you to the Male Survivor Family & Friend's forum.

Although some of what you described most of us can relate to, your husband seeking revenge and harming his abuser is something perhaps a therapist would be more qualified to help you with.
As far as a person getting over the effects of csa on their own, I believe it is all up to the individual and their desire to work through the many issues. It certainly does help to be in therapy and have a guide through it but who's to say a survivor could not manage to read books, participate in group support, evolve and heal on their own?
As far as a normal relationship, what exactly is a normal relationship? I believe that even if one was to remove csa issues that we all face in our relationships that there would always be challenges and hurdles to jump over. I have seen so much progress with my husband over the past year. On a day to day basis he is trying to live again, to experience, to feel, to change...yes, I believe it can get better, but the survivor must really have the desire to strive for quality of life.

I can feel the worry in your post and many of us can relate to that feeling of not really knowing the man that we are in a relationship with for a good many of years. None of it is easy, not one crumb of it, but there is always hope. Please hang in there and perhaps others will offer better insight into what you currently face.
Best wishes to you,

"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

#168020 - 07/21/07 01:12 AM Re: shocking news from my husband [Re: sweet-n-sour]
savemyfam Offline

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 144
Loc: Chicago
Hi Zaz,

I'm having similar problems with my husband. I am also very new to this site but have spent alot of time reading on this site. It has helped me to read what other people are dealing with - it all seems to be the same to some degree.

My feeling is that until they are ready to face the horrible issues that they've spent so long surpressing, theres nothing you can do.

My husband has been on a path of self destruction for 3 years - alcohol, drugs and excessive spending. I was told many years ago by someone close that I confided in about my husbands abuse that men that are CSA tend to go off the deep edge around mid-life. She was right on with my husband.

There were always problems in our marriage - insecurities and trust issues, but they were pretty mild and I dealt with them with humor. When he turned 40 was when he took a destructive slide and hasn't turned back.

I don't know if I'm the right person to respond to you - I'm not giving you anything positive. My husband and I have seperated which is the best thing because we have 2 sons 14 and 11 and his self destructive behavior these past 3 years has really taken a toll on our sons. I feel like I should have left him 2 years ago to try to save my sons some of the heartache.

I made a decision that my husband is 43 years old and has many problems that he can choose to take steps to fix - he has not even though I have put many oportunities in his path to get the help that he needs. My sons on the other hand can't take the steps to fix their lives, that's up to me and I decided to get off the merry - go - round with him to save myself and our sons. I'm now dealing with alot of anger and acting out from my 14 year old who seems to have taken on his fathers defeated attitude about life - who can blame him, that's what his father has taught him.

I have hope that someday he will get the help he so desperately needs - and no I don't belive that they can "fix themselves", it's too complicated what they feel about what they've gone through and they've worked too hard to cover their feelings.

Please feel free to Private Message me if you need to vent, I don't have the answers but I'm a great listener.

Your in my thoughts and prayers

God has a plan for me, I trust in God's plan.

#168087 - 07/21/07 07:31 AM Re: shocking news from my husband [Re: savemyfam]
Logan Offline

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1368
Loc: NY

I thought about revenge for along time and when I was ready to strike I found that my abuser had died in a motorcycle accident. for awhile I felt sad 'cause I wanted to be the one 'to pull the trigger.' But, I got over it and am glad that he dead.

I sorry that you feel woried about what he has told you, but I think it is very common for survivor to fantasize about retrabution, and am sure some of them have carried it out. I'm pretty sure I would have had I had the chance.

I know the implications of what could have happend to me. My hatred for this sadistic person was so intenes that at the time I did not care about the consequences, although looking back on it, i gald things tured out the way that they did.

i appoligise if you do noy find this helpful, but I just wanted to inform that so many surviver fantysize about harming their abuses--I trully don't think this is uncommon. I have know idea how many actually follow through with it, but I'm pretty sure you husband is not the first nor will he be the last to do so.

just my thoughts on the subject.


"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

#168127 - 07/21/07 02:33 PM Re: shocking news from my husband [Re: Logan]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon
- can someone just get over something like that on their own (without professional help)?
- how often does this sort of thing happen? (victim seeking out their abuser and harming them)
- can someone who has gone through something like that ever have a normal relationship (with his wife and kids)?

No, someone cannot just "get over" it. Counselors will tell us that much of a child's emotional growth and maturing stops at the point where major trauma occurs. He is ill equipped to understand or deal with the traumatic events and without professional intervention at the time the child simply assigns what to him makes the most sense to the situation and that in turn becomes his reality. Often that reality if that it was the kids fault. He is to blame. There are other realities a child associates with the events as we, all of them most likely wrong and unhealthy to his future wellbeing and emotional maturity.

Fast forward to him being an adult, and he still cannot just "get over it". He still needs to do a great deal of processing which most often will require intervention by a mental health professional. In fact, it is much more difficult for an adult to do than had he received the intervention at the time of the trauma.

I've no idea how often the victim goes back years later and harms the abuser.

Some one who has gone through abuse as a child CAN go on and have a normal life, but it will most always involve a lot of painful admissions, emotional upheaval as he unlearns his erroneous coping skills from childhood and youth, and a lot of determination to make sense out of his messed up world.

I'd like to address something that strikes me in your post. I'm assuming from the wording of your post that your husband murdered the abuser. There is no statute of limitations on murder here in teh US. If you are a US citizen, you can be held and convicted as an accessory to murder if this is found out. As painful as it may be I suggest you take steps to make sure your children have at least one competent parent to care for and protect them. You don't need another generation of children in your family to inadvertantly fall victim to the pervert who abused your husband.

Those are my thought. I know my last concern sounds harsh, but I'd like you strongly consider what I've said.

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

#168131 - 07/21/07 03:19 PM Re: shocking news from my husband [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

The fact that your husband doesn't want to even talk about this shows that he didn't just "get over it". Like John says, I don't think a survivor can just shrug abuse off. If he doesn't get help, then he incorporates the false lessons he has learned from abuse into his vision of the world as an adult.

That's very unhealthy for all concerned. I don't mean that the survivor will be a menace to his family, but rather that his ability to relate to them in a fulfilling way will be obstructed by all the negative ideas he has learned from abuse. For example, he may feel he is guilty, shameful, unclean, alone, worthless, unlovable, and so on, and this could have a serious effect on his relationships with the rest of the family.

On the legal side, I don't know if a spouse can be held accountable for information she knows about her husband, but in any case, what your husband has done sounds like it would probably be regarded as a felony in any state. You should certainly consider what implications this new information has for you and your children.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#168824 - 07/24/07 09:03 PM Re: shocking news from my husband [Re: roadrunner]
Zaz Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 2
Thanks very much for your feedback. As I search for my own answers to this situation it is helpful to hear from people who (unfortunately) have experience with CSA. In my gut I know he can't just get over this on his own (and I said as much to him when I found out), but he clearly doesn't want to do anything about it now. He's trying to repair things with our marriage in his own way, but, as several of you pointed out, there are fundamental issues - like unhealthy coping mechanisms - that he overlooks (despite our couples counseling). And I know those were formed long ago.

In regards to the legal implications of his actions, I know I need to do what's best for my kids. I appreciate your bluntness - its a serious thing that needs to be taken seriously. Part of me is still in shock that I could be faced with this sort of situation.

As much as I'm leaning toward separation (at least temporarily), part of me would feel like I am abandoning him. Rationally I know the situation is much more complicated, but that emotional component is gut-wrenching.

- Zaz


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