I know your husband doesn't think
he needs therapy, but he couldn't be more wrong.
You also need therapy.
Whether you go to the place with the sliding scale or you call your local rape crisis center, please call. Each of you needs your own therapists who specialize in trauma and/ or sexual abuse.
Counseling at the rape crisis center is free to county residents, and they have services for males and females. Some also have groups.
You might also be able to get services, at no cost, through your religious organization. Even if the counseling through the religious organization might not be trauma specific, it can help both of you manage the depression and the isolation.
There are books written for male survivors. Some of the more popular titles are:
Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse by Mic Hunter
Victims No Longer by Mike Lew.
There are also books for the signifcant others of male survivors. I am certain those in this forum will be more than happy to share the titles they found most useful.
You can find these titles, and others, here at the bookstore
, or at your public library.
Your husband's drinking and "obsessions" are his way of numbing his feelings and to keep from remembering.
There are self help groups for family members of alcoholics. Please attend these meetings so you can get the support and information you need.
You need to heal from his past, and his behavior, as much as he needs to heal from the abuse he endured. You have every right to heal, and you need to be healthy.
As much as you love your husband, you cannot do this for him. No one can do this work for him. He has to decide that he no longer wants to live with the pain and that he wants to find a way of feeling better, in a healthy sense, not by numbing himself with alcohol and his hobbies.
You need to set limits with your husband about the behavior you find acceptable and that which is unacceptable. There are consequences for unacceptable behavior. But only set limits and consequences if you are prepared to follow through with them.
These are not punishments, nor are they forms of blackmail. They are also not intended to shame or to humiliate. You are drawing a line in the sand. You have to be healthy and you have to maintain a healthy environment for yourself.
Loving him means setting limits which, hopefully, will get him to see that therapy is the way to deal with his pain. If he chooses not to deal with this in a healthy manner, he will be suffering alone. This is not an act of cruelty or selfishness, it is an act of love.
You may want to leave information about this site for your husband. Do not
ask him if he has visited the site or if he has created an account, to do so is a violation of his privacy. Sometimes it takes people a long time before they join the site. Some will read without ever joining, and some find what is here to be too triggering. If he tells you he has joined, congratulate him for taking a very big step. Do NOT
as him for his screen name.
Whether or not your husband chooses to take positive steps toward healing from his experiences, you need to heal from them, and from him. Hopefully he will choose to grow with you, rather than apart from you. But it has to be his choice.
Dealing with this stuff is not easy, not for the survivor, and certainly not for the person who loves him. But it can and does get better. A lot of energy and committment is required to achieve the desired results.
It will be a rough road for each of you, but the rewards are immeasurable.
One of the things you need to do is self care
. You need to eat well, exercise and do things that are not trauma related. You need to have a support system that does not focus on the issues. You also need to have activities that you can do independent of your husband.
I know you said that your "friends" no longer associate with you. Frankly, those who are only "friends" if you can maintain a certain social status, are not friends. You do not need their superficial "friendship." By joining the various healing groups you will meet people who will become true friends. Their relationships will not be based on the superficial criteria of what you have, nor will they shame or embarrass you for what you do not have. They will be based on who you are as people, and for the character and other qualities you possess.
You have all of us here. If you have not found it yet, there is also a chat room (aka: the lounge) which includes a room for friends and family.
The best way to support your husband is to get yourself help and to be healthy.
I hope you can encourage this very strong and brave man to seek the help he so richly deserves.