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#463210 - 03/26/14 04:02 PM Feeling sad and alone..
Healing8 Offline

Registered: 03/26/14
Posts: 4
I'm new here, so I'll apologize in advance that this might be a lengthy post. My husband was sexually abused by a cousin who baby sat for him when he was a child. He never told his parents (or anyone else)because he didn't want to ruin their relationship with his aunt. He told me he was abused about 10 years ago, but we didn't discuss it much. I told him I loved him and I'd always be here if he needed me to listen. Fast forward to the present and our marriage is going through a rough patch. We have a young child and haven't been doing a great job of putting our marriage first. We are trying to work through it. I feel like he closes himself off a lot though. We finally got into a deep discussion and I think I pushed him too far. I brought up his abuse, just to ask if he thought he had dealt with it because 30 years is a long time to hold something like that inside. He immediately shut down the conversation and cried for a bit. I tried to comfort him, but he pushed me away. 20 minutes later he was enraged. Telling me that was the most hurtful thing anyone had ever done to him, including the abuse, and that he hated me. He screamed that he had dealt with it and that is why he's only close to a few people. He decided to leave. He did tell me that he loved me before he left but he couldn't deal with me right now. He'll contact me when he's ready. I said it because I love and care for him. Now I think I shouldn't have brought it up though. Rationally, I know his anger isn't really about me, but it's hard to remember that when the person you love is telling you they hate you. I just feel so alone and scared right now. I don't want to lose him. Any thoughts, encouragement or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Edited by Healing8 (03/28/14 12:48 PM)

#463213 - 03/26/14 04:52 PM Re: Feeling sad and alone.. [Re: Healing8]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
Hey healing.
The situation sounds really stressful. I don't think you really did anything wrong. Your heart was in the right place. My H has lashed out at me in a similar matter when I've brought up his abuse. I think they lash out like that because it is sooo painful for them to think about it when they haven't delt with it yet.
I know my H thinks he has delt with his abuse because he has shoved it down and doesn't talk about it but if he had delt with it he wouldn't freak out at me for bringing it up. Its obvious that this is a huge soft spot for your H. I've noticed that before a survivor heals they are super protective of their abuse and memories. Its this painful baggage they drag around with them and they feel no one else can see it or has the right to ask about it even when it impacts their life and the the lives of those around them.
I think its all the shame and guilt they put on themselves. It can leave them feeling helpless and like they are powerless to free themselves from the pain of the past.
I'm sure it was really hard to have your H freak out on you like that. It sounds like he projected all of the pain surrounding his abuse on you in that moment. This seems to happen a lot with us partners. I don't know why survivors often target the closest person to them to project on but they do it a lot. Sometimes to the point of accusing the partner of mistreating or abusing them when all the partner it trying to do is extend love and support.
And that's the even stranger thing about what abuse does to people it can make them run from the thing we all want and acceptance.
I know that with my H when I try to talk about things and extend support and concern he sees it as a threat. He can't believe that I really just love him because deep down he believes he is unloveable. So he lashes out at me and sees me as someone who is trying to manipulate him and gain his trust so that I can hurt him. ...just like his abuser did.
I know I'm making a lot of generalizations here and I'm speaking only from my own experiences. Not all survivors are the same but they sure do seem to have a lot in common.
I don't know your H but I wonder if he won't calm down and come home. Maybe he will realize that you were trying to help. Maybe he will realize that he hasn't delt with his abuse and will decide to seek help. I sure hope so. My H is in denial and it is really hard to deal with him sometimes because he doesn't see reality. Everything is filtered through his lense of abuse and he is always the victim.
If there is therapy or a support group that you can get to I would consider it. It can help a lot because being a supporter is really hard in its own right. But your not alone. There are lot of people on here much wiser than I and they are great.
Take care and keep posting if you need. If you want to pm me you can I don't have the answers but I'm happy to extend support.
Everything comes from within

#463225 - 03/26/14 09:20 PM Re: Feeling sad and alone.. [Re: Healing8]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 542
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Healing8
He screamed that he had dealt with it and that is why he's only close to his parents, brother and I.

Hey, Healing8.

Your above recollection of what he said struck home with me.

When I think about the effects of shameful feelings on me, one of the most lasting ones is the behavior that seems to want to always draw the line on who knows what. This is a natural human response. Unfortunately, it never seems to leave some part of one's conscious life.

One thing you might do is not be hard on yourself for bringing it up, but consider other ways that you can allow him some space to have the memory without there being unpredictable consequences.

I think in our impatience we want to make things better. Just knowing that there is room to explore needs, even if they are new, scary ones, can help.

Another thing you might look at is the book "Parenting from the Inside Out". As a parent, I have found it helpful in getting some backup to making connections between my own upbringing and the experiences I am having with my children. It is easy to let this go from time to time, but good to be reminded, even when the going gets rough.

Hope for yours (and his) healing,

Lose the drama; life is a poem.

#463233 - 03/27/14 12:20 AM Re: Feeling sad and alone.. [Re: Healing8]
Healing8 Offline

Registered: 03/26/14
Posts: 4
Thank you both for your responses. It's good to get some other perspectives. I know time will help. We've talked minimally today, but H is still making plans for next month as if everything is ok. I know with some hard work we can get back to a good place. I don't want to push his healing process because I know that it has to be on his terms. I just hope he can find the strength and courage to get there.


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