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#419038 - 12/13/12 04:54 PM I remind him of his abuser
Hailwic Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19
After years of confusion as to why my husband won't have sex with me, he finally comes out in therapy and tells me it's because I remind him of his abuser.

I know it sounds selfish, but I'm so angry right now. Why did he ever ask me out on a date, and why did he ever ask me to marry him? I've went through ten years of hell with him, trying to figure out why my own husband won't touch me, thinking there must be something monsterously grotesque about me, feeling worthless as a wife and even more worhtless as a female.

Because of our situation I have no children, and I've desperately wanted a child for the past seven years. The problem is, the thought of having sex at all now turns my stomach, thinking that I somehow remind my husband of the sick perverted perpetrator that repeatedly abused him.

I don't see any light at the end of this tunnel. Has anyone else been through similar circumstances? I feel so hopeless right now.

#419123 - 12/14/12 12:27 PM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: Hailwic]
men_of_hrts.dbw Offline

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 302
Loc: Orchidland Big Island Hawaii
I had to log in and let you know,
You do not deserve what you got. I know your feeling like its all been a lie and are pissed beyond words. As a secondary survivor you, like your husband, have been affected by the ripple effect of a sex crime.
Double the pain for you because you didn't know you were a secondary victim.
When your husbands barracade came down it landed on both of you, people in your life, family and even the pets know something is going on.
So you've entered a new gateway, one that begins with pain, anger, issues and conditions beyond anything you have entered before.
New territory means setting up a new map...if you can..move thru this difficult leg of the journey with guidance from information and understanding. Peer support from this site and of all places with the YWCA..all across America they have programs and support groups.
I hope you and your husband can let this be a bonding factor in your marriage. I can only imagine.

Adressing the topic, I never remarried after divorce in 1983. I had bad pre-sexual anxiety with body memories after I was raped in 1977. Body memories are physical conditions and sensations felt after the event and sometimes brought on by flashbacks/memories or triggered by association.
So..I had physical feelings associated to the assault, but I did not identify them or the sexual dysfunction with the assault untill three decades later after disclosure.
Prior to the assault my sexual ability was 100% hetrosexual and effortless/active...then after the assault..pre-sexual anxiety and ability was agonizing. And yet I remained able to attract women easily...that made it worse.
So..I finally turned to avoidance in my mid-thirty's and stuck with women who didn't get too pushy about sex. Very uncomfortable subject back then.
When I was married those three first I was effortless...that blew me away so I figured I had to marry this girl..That was one of my first thoughts the next day.
But I began to have intrusive flashbacks and conscious memories of the assault during sex..would shut down and lose ability or fight off the images..yet it was impossible.
My former wife thought and mentioned how she felt it was her fault...if only I had told her she said when I finally told her the truth in 2007.
She told me we could have worked it out if I had told her what happened.

Maybe, your husband meant sex reminds him of what happened to him. Us men don't express ourselves well...especially with this subject.
I craved sexual intimacy with another woman all my adult life and it was only after much self-searching and understanding..after three decades of silence...once I began discussing, and today I enjoy intimacy and sex.
Spirit, Mind and Body can fully heal.
Recover the Spirit.
Restore the Mind
Rehabilitate the Body
Reorientate your Sexuality.

These four R's helped me create who I am today. I could never bring back the lost/stolen Doug and I didn't want the Doug I was after the event...I had to create a new Doug with everything that made me who and what I am.

Keep your chin up..sending you endurance and success.
Doug>ASA Survivor (1x)
ECV 6001/MaTuCa Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
"What Say the Brethren"
"Hang the Bastards"

#419154 - 12/14/12 07:03 PM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: Hailwic]
RunningOnEmpty Offline

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia

Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/01/13 07:54 PM)

#419178 - 12/15/12 08:46 AM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: Hailwic]
newground Offline

Chatroom Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1104
Loc: michigan
hey hailwic
I am so sorry for your pain. I finally told my wife that there are times when she is aggressive or acts flirty that it can be very triggering to me. before I could tell her I wrote this that is where I find myself and it is really hard to talk about it, because it makes me feel like a freak! I cant speak for you husband but for myself I have the same questions about me as you have about him why is it that way?, why would those thoughts come? why,why,why? the only way through now that you know is a very awkward one, talk about it. gain his permission first,love him as you obviously have and then let him know you don't want those things between you anymore then he does,and perhaps you two can build a new model of sexuality together that will work for you both. just a thought
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

#419362 - 12/17/12 09:38 AM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: men_of_hrts.dbw]
Hailwic Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19

Thank you so much for sharing. Something you said sort of made sense, about how you 'stuck with' women who weren't pushy about sex. Through the years, mostly these past four or five, my husband has said things like, "Since when are you so obsessed with sex?" , and "You didn't used to be like this!"

Well, I was really shy and timid when I first met my husband, hadn't had sex yet and didn't know much about it. I didn't know how often couples were supposed to have sex, or if I was doing something wrong. I asked him for guidance, begged him for some kind of direction, and when he blew me off, I started really feeling like I must be hopeless, or something must be wrong with me.

These past four or five years I've just been frustrated and angry. I'll admit, I've said and done things to him out of anger because I've felt so hurt and angry for so long that I wanted to make him hurt like me.

He didn't tell me about the abuse until he finally agreed to go to counseling two years ago. I was so hopeful at first, thinking, "OK, he's really making progress - maybe we can work things out after all." But then he suddenly stopped going to see his therapist and refused to go back until a few months ago when he dropped the bombshell that he has trouble touching me because I remind him of his abuser.

I've cooled off since my original post, but I'm still pretty angry inside. Your story gives me some hope, though smile

#419365 - 12/17/12 10:01 AM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: RunningOnEmpty]
Hailwic Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19

Thanks for sharing, and at least I know I'm not alone with my feelings. I know my husband can't help what happened to him or how he feels, but Holy Moses, to think I remind him of the sick twisted monster that tortured him?! It's so horrifying.

He opened up that specifically, it's my weight that triggers him. That's even harder for me to be ok with because I've struggled with and been insecure about my weight my whole life. I've never been a twig - that's hard to do when when your'e built the way I am. I'm 5' 10'' and weigh 180lbs. I can diet and exercise (we run 5ks all the time with eachother, by the way) but the most I ever lose is about 5 or 10lbs. So, yes, I have arm flab and belly fluff.

The woman that abused him apparently was obese. My husband says that pretty much any time my fluff touches him he freaks out.

Typing it all out makes me feel silly, but seriously, how the heck can you be intimate with someone you can't touch?

#419366 - 12/17/12 10:28 AM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: Hailwic]
RunningOnEmpty Offline

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
Oh that is horrible!
It's not your fault.
And you are NOT obese! 180lbs on your frame is normal. This trigger is not your burden.

#419367 - 12/17/12 10:47 AM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: newground]
Hailwic Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19

Thank you for sharing your post about your struggle. Reading through it, there's no question that you love your wife, and I hate thinking that you (or my husband, for that matter) can't just be free to show that love.

Before I knew about the abuse, I often accused my husband of not really knowing what love meant. He will say "I love you" all the time, and yet has never offerred me a loving caress I haven't had to beg for. I told him one time when I was really angry that this (our lack of intimacy) wasn't normal. That really infuriated him, so it was a long time before I said anything about it again.

I know now it's not a matter of what is or isn't normal, but instead what is *healthy*. In trying to figure my husband out, I figured myself out. I know now that touch is really important to me. Touch is affirmation for me. Without it I wither. Touch is *healthy* for me.

So where do I go from here? I just don't know.

#419386 - 12/17/12 01:50 PM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: Hailwic]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
Try to not take it personally- he was violated and sexually damaged and needs to heal from decades of pain and unresolved trauma.

As a male survivor , I see how so many things in my adult life remind me or trigger memories of my abuse: Bosses, athletic confident men, etc. Study up on Csa and its effects- and be clear you want healing in your marriage. At some point you may have to decide if u want to stay with someone shut down and unwilling to address real and persistent issues.

Hurting him or making him feel bad only undermines whatever sense of safety and trust he has with you.

I was unable to really love, be empathetic, or access deeper emotions until I started to work thru all this and learn intimacy from within. I had to get rid of the deeply held shame and disgust and fear that was pounded into me from the abuse. This was hard for my wife not to think my stuff was all about her-it was 95% from my childhood.

I hear you too are hurting from being married to a man who is hijacked emotionally and in all sorts of ways. That is painful. And there is healing if you get the help and support you need to deal with it.

Be a safe supportive and trusting person- to yourself and him.
You are together for a reason
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#419489 - 12/18/12 03:25 PM Re: I remind him of his abuser [Re: Hailwic]
Hailwic Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19

Thanks for sharing with me. I know my posts make me sound mean and angry - and I still am angry, just doing a better job of handling it - but I really do love my husband and I really do want healing in my marriage. Besides the zero-physical-affection thing, I couldn't ask for a better man.

I always get compliments from everyone on how great of a guy I have! Which is why I was so confused for so long, thinking I must be the sorriest female in the world if even my perfect husband couldn't manage to find a single thing about me desirable.

The confusion turned to frustration, and the frustration turned to anger. Before I knew about csa, I had learned that the only way to get response out of him was to intentionally say or do mean things to him. I remember thinking, well good, now at least he hurts like I hurt.

If I only knew how much he had already been hurt...

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