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#223679 - 05/11/08 12:18 PM Another new face.
tinydancer Offline

Registered: 05/11/08
Posts: 1
Hello all...I'm new here and haven't had much time to browse around yet, but I can tell this will be a great resource for me.

My husband and I were married about six months ago, and for the most part our relationship is wonderful and strong, but my partner does have some issues with long-term and recurring depression that stems from the sexual abuse he suffered as a young child.

Until last night, I was the only person he had ever told about this - including his mother. Over the last few weeks the subject has been coming up more often as he is becoming increasingly moody and prone to arguing. He seems to be realizing that this is the root cause of most of his emotional problems, including those which seem to be causing us to fight more than normal. At my urging he SEEMED to agree to therapy, but then said he couldn't keep the facts from his mother any longer. (Unfortunately the gist of that conversation seemed to consist of her telling him to "get over it," but...sigh.)

However, he is still VERY resistant to the idea of telling a "complete stranger" about all this, and no longer seems to want to consider therapy. He has strong ideas about what it is to be a "man" and since the abuse was carried out by another male, admitting to it deeply upsets him. Still, I have really been trying to encourage him, not only because I believe he needs and deserves help from someone more qualified in these sorts of things than me, but because the effects of this abuse are starting to spill out into our relationship, causing arguments and more unhappiness. And of course I just can't stand to see him so upset all the time...

Can anyone give me any advice on how to gently persuade him to consider therapy, and, if he still won't go, what the best way is for me to support him on my own?

#223707 - 05/11/08 04:02 PM Re: Another new face. [Re: tinydancer]
dgoods Offline

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Hi tinydancer,
My first inclination is to suggest finding a way to point him toward this site, or toward any resource which will help him understand that he's not alone- not only in what happened to him, but in feeling how he does. The most surprising and helpful thing for me as a CSA survivor was discovering that there were other men from many different histories, backrounds, countries even, that were dealing with things i thought were unique to me.

Even admitting anything happened at all can feel like a bad choice at times, depending on the audience; also, many times, i haven't even been aware of my perspective being colored by my abuse, until having it pointed out to me- and even then, only after time and reflection made it clearer.

The more important issue at hand to me is: "You can't help raise someone to their feet, if your own legs are broken". Your love and concern for him is admirable, but don't forget or neglect yourself in all of this. I hope you find these thoughts helpful...

Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

#223783 - 05/12/08 12:52 AM Re: Another new face. [Re: tinydancer]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Hi tinydancer,
Welcome, glad you found us!
I can deeply relate to what you're going through being in a similar situation myself. I wish there some "profound" advice I could give you, but unfortunately there isn't. When it comes to therapy, you'll never be able to force him to go. And even if you get him there, there is no guarantee he'll follow through. He won't do it until he's ready and it can take a very long time. My SO has attempted twice in 15/16 years, both for very short periods of time. He and I had many an argument over his belief that "rape only happens to girls." He felt and still feels responsible for what happened and the effects of the abuse are out of control at this point.
You're right, he does need a qualified therapist that specializes in treating male victims of csa. Even if you WERE a therapist, you could never be his. You're too close to him. My best advice to you is be consistent. You can encourage him to go to therapy and point out how he'll benefit and also how you'll benefit as a couple. You also have to tell him it was not his fault. The night before my SO went to the first therapist, he had me up half the night with ,"What if he says it's my fault?" I kept assuring him that he wouldn't because it wasn't. By morning, I told him that if the guy said it was, we'd sue him and he'd be very rich. That made him laugh.
Also, pay attention to what prompts the arguments. There are things you can avoid and things you can't. I don't know how long you and your husband were together in addition to the 6 months you're married.

#223850 - 05/12/08 02:02 PM Re: Another new face. [Re: tinydancer]
Marissa Offline

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 69
Hi tinydancer -

I'm new here as well.

My husband used to say the same thing about not wanting to share his thoughts and feeling wiht a complete stranger. It took almost 3 years for him to agree to couples counseling (and then it was an ultimatum - I had said, "If things don't improve in the next 6 months we are going to ttherapy or the sex is just going to STOP until you get your shit together".....I did not know about the abuse at that time tho'....)- and in the beginning he was still *really* resistant.

Now - Even though we do talk about our issues as a couple, sometimes it's more like his individual therapy with me sitting in the room. Which is fine! As long as the job gets done, I don't really care how we accomplish it.

It's a shame that your dh got that response from his mother. Almost indicates she knew about it then too and turned a blind eye....but I'm not in a position to determine that..

I hope things improve for you and that your dh will find his way.

Take Care,

#224175 - 05/14/08 01:40 PM Re: Another new face. [Re: Marissa]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

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

I'm sorry I missed this when you first posted. I'm even sorrier that I'm at work now and can't give the reply I want. I do want to acknowlege your post and let you know that we are here for you and will listen. I'll be on later tonight with more.

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

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.


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