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#298961 - 08/12/09 01:15 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: roxanne]
MPackard Offline

Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 43
Loc: MS
Roxanne, beautiful!

#298962 - 08/12/09 01:36 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: MPackard]
riz Offline

Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 123
I logged in just to say I agree :-)Beautiful.

#299454 - 08/16/09 02:20 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: roxanne]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382

I did and said a lot of things in my marriage that I never would have done if I'd known about his abuse. Some of the things were really hard for him to deal with but, I didn't know.
Geez, even after I knew it still took a long time before I got my foot out of my mouth!

I always explain T to people as a tool. It's like a hammer, if someone needs it they pick it up and use it. Maybe working in that little analogy, or something similar, might help her to see it differently.

#299502 - 08/16/09 02:01 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: roxanne]
honey girl Offline

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Beautifully put, Roxanne. Thank you. Good luck to you and your husband.


I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

#305187 - 10/04/09 09:02 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
Piglet Offline

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 17
I think your wife needs counseling, too.

I have the flip side of this problem. DH mentioned his abuse as an aside, years ago, and I - very young at the time - accepted his assurance that it was nothing. He "thought it was a game". Years later at the marriage counselor, when she asked him about his first experience, and he mentions something much later and I called him on it - well, it all made sense. I've been trying to have an adult relationship with a six-year old boy.

I don't know if I can keep doing this for the rest of my life. I don't want anyone else. I wouldn't be likely to have more sex in my life if I left. But I can't even chat with other women about life, because it always comes back to sex, and how men always want it. At least maybe I could be free to breathe as myself, and not have to continually keep his "privacy"/secret.

I am circling around to your answer. This isn't just about me! Your wife has her own anger and issues about this, and she may well be feeling like she's drowning, like I am, at times. She's in over her head. I don't know if she can ever become supportive, but I can see she needs to talk, and learn, and vent. She has a lot of pain and anger that she probably can't share with you, and she may have all she can do to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I hope things work out well for you and your family.

#305678 - 10/09/09 02:04 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
supportinghim Offline

Registered: 10/09/09
Posts: 7
I think it is great you are seeing a therapist, i wish is was something my husband was willing to do. There are something in this world that we can't make go away all on our ownand bravo to you for having the strength to see that and get assistance. I do not know enough about you wife to tell you if you should disclose the information or not, I know that I have made sure my husband knows that anything about his past he wishes to tell me I will not think less of him. I would hope that your wife would have the compassion to do the same thing.

#305731 - 10/09/09 09:03 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: supportinghim]
James Landrith Offline

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 40
Loc: Alexandria, VA, USA
I can relate somewhat to several people here both as a survivor and as a secondary survivor. I spent 16 years as a secondary to my wife - waking her out of nightmares, watching over her during regressions, looking out for triggers in everyday interactions, holding her while she cried, etc. I did everything I could to assist in her healing to the extent she would allow herself to be helped.

For the first 15 years, I completely ignored my own rapes and refused to even acknowledge I was a survivor at all. In May of 2008, I was triggered by a discussion at work. After that, I immediately sought out help through the local rape crisis program and began seeking a therapist. I already had a pretty good idea of what I was going to be dealing with as I'd witnessed it firsthand during our marriage.

As my wife was dealing with a death on her side of the family, I didn't burden her with my problems just yet. I had hoped to get through 3 or 4 sessions first. No such luck. I was triggered hard and froze up when she initiated sex. So, we talked about it for a while. I cried and she held me for a few minutes and then went on about her business as if nothing had happened. She then did the same thing a lot of secondaries do - tell me how much worse other people have it. This bit of wisdom only served to make me feel guilty over my emotions. I was raped by a woman so I have enough guilt and shame as is - thank you very much.

Exactly one week later she began to minimize my trauma, use my therapy against me in arguments and blame any disagreement (no matter how many times we had the same argument in the past) on my PTSD in the most mocking and offensive manner. Then she made sure I understood just how much more violent her rapes were compared to mine. Why the competition? I gave years to her as her secondary and she failed completely when I needed the support. So I found help online and formed friendships at several survivor forums. I was told that this was B.S. and that I am only to tell her what I feel. Well, that got me a whole lot of nothing but secondary wounding when I tried to talk to her.

At this point, I don't even bother talking to her about it. It is my job to support her and her job to make me feel guilty for finally deciding to take care of my own issues.

You know, she actually delinked me at MySpace when I began to talk about it publicly and joined the RAINN Speakers Bureau? I blog regularly talk about civil liberties issues and human rights with my feed going directly into LexisNexis and other news services. It was only natural to me that I use my own experience to help others. I hear from other survivors regularly through my own writings and speaking engagements. Well, she decided that was wrong because her friends might find out.

Ugh. My participation in therapy is used against me in arguments. I am minimized and treated like a whiner for daring to feel traumatized and made to feel like an embarrassment for not cowering in shame and silence.

I give up. What is the point?

Member of RAINN Speakers Bureau and syndicated blogger
Good Men Project author
Vice President, Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma

#315256 - 12/20/09 01:38 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: James Landrith]
catfish86 Offline

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 832
Loc: Ohio
Wow. Reading this from the beginning, I am lucky to have my wife. My father in law passed away and at the funeral, I patted his hand and said "Thank you". I meant for being the father of a wonderful girl who supports me in this really freaky time.

When I disclosed, it was to explain some recent freaky behavior that she later admitted had her thinking of how to go about bailing out. When I did, I was kind of shocked at my own body because as I was telling her, I sounded like a stuttering idiot with flinches as I recalled certain things. Her reaction was to tell me to sit on the couch with her and she held me. She agreed to listen to anything I had to tell and for the most part listens to me at my own pace. She has even kind of ushered me out of a few situations quite gracefully. She helped me seek a therapist and has been very patient in the bedroom.

Even so, we had an unpleasant blowout that had me leaving for the office in a huff. I was describing what I felt was a relieving prologue to an earlier flashback (I thought my perp had induced me into killing another boy but it turned out in the additional flaskback that I had missed badly). It involved some further sex to which she gave an unguarded response that it was warped and twisted. OK, it was a bonding experience between me, my abuser and a kid he had raped and almost had me kill, that is twisted, but I didn't need to be told that.

It is hard on a spouse to understand what happened. One wife responded here she felt guilty for not having experienced this. I can see that, but I am happy for those that were not abused. This DOES NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN and we can work to prevent it. It is like some of the guys in Psych Ops units I was in in the army, you can't make people respond 100% like robots in the way that you want, but you can shift public opinion and make a difference in the way a lot of people act. For example, you can't stop everyone from smoking but you can reduce the percentage from 50% to 15% and that does make a difference.

God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

#315278 - 12/20/09 03:59 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: catfish86]
Jim1961 Offline

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1201
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...

Thanks for the reply and reminding me of this thread!

My wife and I have had our ups and downs since July. I have not disclosed anything further, I am careful not to tell her about my T sessions or even that I have an appointment.

However, I did realize (with my Ts help) how I would go off the deep end myself when she has her meltdowns. I would blame myself. I am NOT in control of her. I can only do the best I can at being me. I have basically surrendered her to God.

I love her and I pray for her. And my boundaries are better and if (when) she tries to pass her shame on me, I stand tall and tell her that I don't accept it. This alone I believe has made her think more about her behavior.

Maybe one day (like when our youngest kid is out of the house) I'll disclose the whole enchilada. But for now, steady as she goes...


Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

#315354 - 12/20/09 03:52 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
sono Offline

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069

I know much of what you are speaking about here and my wife and I have a great relationship full of incredible amounts of understanding and compassion. BUT there are even still times when it just doesn't go the way it should in my opinion and then it all sucks big time. I go to that place where I feel used, abused and controlled just like with my fun!

You sound like you've got a great handle on this. Congrats!
I've found many of us married guys having strikingly similar stories and I'm sure we are only scratching the surface of this particularly painful part of our recovery. Having been a victim of male perped csa adds a dynamic to working out those difficulties in our marriages that is no doubt unique to us. Victims of female perped csa would certainly have another set of issues. Victims of both?...yee ha, now that's some fun!

hanging in there with ya!


the family
the perp

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