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#64608 - 02/26/03 02:26 AM how to ask
crushed Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
My husband was abused as a child by many perps. He recently disclosed this to me and his family. The question I have is how do I know whether he will be an abuser also??? I have read that it is very rare for victims to become abusers, but I just watched Oprah and there was a man on there that did become an abuser. My husband is so awesome with children; he loves being around them and really conects with them. I don't want to take this out of context, but how do I know he does not have 'other intentions'? This is a difficult subject that I do not know how to bring up with my huband. Any advice on how I can ask my huband this senstive questions or how to go about addressing this issue???


#64609 - 02/26/03 02:45 AM Re: how to ask
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Hello Crushed:
While it is true that most victims do not go on to become abusers, a large percentage of abusers were abused as children. This is backed up by numerous research studies and the figures of abusers with victimization histories range from less than 50% to high 80%.

Bear in mind that the discrepancies come from where the population was studied, how the term abuse is defined, ages of the subjects, and other variables. What is also important to recognize about this is that if you go to a drug rehab program and ask how many heroin users/addicts used marijuana before using heroin, you will find a very high percentage. One might conclude that marijuana leads to heroin use. However, if you survey a similar number of marijuana users and ask how many have used heroin, you will probably find the number to be very small. This is to say that most abuse victims do not go on to abuse others although many/most abusers have a history of abuse.

Research indicates that among those victimized, the factors that support NON-abusing behaviors in the future are that the victim disclosed to someone and was believed and supported. Now, that does not mean your husband will become an abuser if he did not tell anyone in childhood and/or was not believed and supported.

The road from victim to victimizer is not a simple path with one or two conditions that can be used to predict who will and who will not become an abuser. It is complex and there are resources for those who fear or struggle with feelings/thoughts/impulses to sexually abuse others. Sexual abuse is almost always a premeditated act. I would say always, but there are some who will impulsively abuse others. However, they are usually so impulsive and disturbed that they would likely be hospitalized as threats to themselves or others and have a history of impulsive sexual acts.

The at-risk forum on the members only part of MaleSurvivor is a place for men to talk about their thoughts and feelings that may be indicators of future abuse or other struggles they are having with masturbation, acting out or other behaviors. There is also an organization for people to talk to trained counselors about possibly abusive behavior called Stop It Now!. The phone number is 1 888-PREVENT. You can also go to the Stop It Now website at

I hope you'll find some answers here and I'm sure there will be other posts to help you out.

Ken Singer, LCSW
MaleSurvivor Board of Directors

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#64610 - 02/26/03 04:05 PM Re: how to ask
zadok1 Offline

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
i guess the stats are what they are. i saw the show you are talking about. if it will help you, i was abused at five, and now there is nothing that sickens me more than the idea of abusing children. i live it every day, and there is nothing further from me than abusing a child. it makes me sick to even concieve of it. i know too well the damage it causes.

if you were my wife, i would understand your concerns. i would expect and want my wife to be straight foward, though i might blow up at the allegation at first, eventually i would understand where it was coming from. i mean accusing, or suggesting that such things even cross his mind will likely piss him off.

my wife and i watched the program together, and she admitted not being so sure, especially early on in our relationship. she was abused too, and we trust no one around our kids. it is hard being totally open and honest, but it is also very important for a marriage to work. yes, things upset us sometimes, but with time and a lot of talking, he should understand.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

#64611 - 02/27/03 12:55 AM Re: how to ask
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I agree with Ken, although I am not a proffesional in any field concerning abuse.
But I believe that if a victim discloses he wants to get better. He wants to escape the dreadful past, and present, that he's experiencing.
Also he's probably very aware that he might easily be branded a "pervert" or worse, I feared that so badly. It's one of the things that makes us keep the secret for so long.

I've been married for 28 years, and we have no kids because I was scared I would carry on the legacy of abuse. It's only now that I have sought help that I have realised that having sex with children is not my thing, but I must have known it all along sub-conciously.
I think that if someone has pedo' tendencies then they are unlikely to disclose because once the recovery process starts it's going to be virtually impossible to recover half and hide half.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#64612 - 02/28/03 05:15 PM Re: how to ask
MrEdd Offline

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 341
Loc: Texas
Crushed, I'm so glad your husband is so good with your children. We had to give one of ours up for my sister to adopt because Kim was incapacitated and I Litterally throw up when confronted with a naked child so I couldn't change diapers or give baths

Some Things are not problems to be solved, rather, they are facts which must be coped with over time.

#64613 - 02/28/03 05:29 PM Re: how to ask
moo2 Offline

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 82
Loc: pottsboro,texas
I agree with Lloydy that with when treatment starts that your husband will not be able to hide half himself. He will heal fully. He may always have a small amount of fear at first, but remember if he did not have a history of abusing children more than likely he will not. You need to trust your husband completely. That is a big relief to your husband. I should know I was told about 5 weeks ago that Mr Edd was having violent flashbacks of his childhood. Hubby was afraid I would divorace him. It was a huge relief that I was not going to divorace him. MrEdd also wanted me to ask him any questions. You should not be afraid to ask you husband anything. You should be there, hug him + just hold his hand when you ask him any questions.

#64614 - 02/28/03 06:45 PM Re: how to ask
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Mr Edd, it's good to see you back again \:D


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#64615 - 02/28/03 07:08 PM Re: how to ask
Wifey1 Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
Crushed & Gang,
I just wanted to start off by saying I feel shame sometimes by not being very supportive of others with responses. I try, but sometimes get so overwhelmed (more so lately) with triggers I lose train of thot -- or am unable to place into words what I want to express. I read the postings daily, and feel sometimes that I am stealing and not doing my fair share of shareing and helping. ~
Crushed, hubby2 & I have been married 15 yrs, currently separated 1 + yrs. I had 2 daughs prior to hubby2 & I's marriage -- he always said very strongly that he "Never wanted babies, children" (reading others postings i think i understand why now) For me having my children "Saved My Life!" We both knew and admitted to each other we were SA survivors early in our relationship. For most of our marriage I was constantly on pins & needles wondering if he would abuse our own daughs. Those fears eased up some when he said to me one day "The Girls are NEVER to be left alone with my dad!"... Sadly I already knew why.
He spent the next years being a very unconditional loving parent, oft times to the point of the girls being able to manipulate him with just a bat of eyelashes "pleeeaaasseee Daddy", I swear at times I could see his heart physically melt for them. They are 20 & 21 now and its harder to undo our over protective ness by learning to say no to them when we need to care for ourselves first now. Our parenting or rather over parenting by sacrificing for them may have protected them from being sexually abused by family members & others (we talked with them straight about it long & early in their language & still do) -- but it also caused some dysfunction in our relationship both as a couple and as a family.
His actions & behaviours thru the yrs helped me to trust him that he would not sexually abuse them -- some examples, he never bathed them with the door closed, he never exposed any nakedness of his body (not even on a hot day did a t shirt come off to mow the lawn), bedroom doors were kept closed, he repeatedly told them their bodies were their own and only THEY could choose who, when, how they were touched.
For me tho' I still wondered on occassion if at some time my worst fear would come true -- that the man I chose as a life mate would injure my daughters. I never ever told him this.... My head told me one thing, my heart filled with fear another.
A few yrs ago I became diagnosed with a long term illness. It was what I tend to think of as a crack that was a beginning to the end in a volcanic eruption.
Eventually, natural and spoken boundaries in our home disappeared no matter how much begging, screaming, pleading etc, I did for hubby2 & the girls to get T help -- the disease is killing me, it HAD to be effecting them even worse. A final explosion in our home sent me packing on a much needed vacation. 7 weeks or so later when I returned something seemed better in our home, and it wasnt just my health or attitude. Then 2 weeks of being home, he took me to dinner, music & dancing to tell me the horrible news that he was going to be charged with a sex crime. Not against one of our daughters, but one of the daughs friends. I moved out the next day, I still am not sure to this day exactly what words to use that could describe the feelings I had as he said the words "Something bad did happen while you were gone."
I went to a GF's house, not feeling much of anything except going thru the motions on getting my own home & safe. I was barraged with disparaging remarks from my daughs such as "Mom, you're just Bailing Out and Running away" - I agreed I was running away, but that I needed to get safe and that no matter what I chose no one else was going to think I was making the right choice. One daugh said "I based my whole Idea of a Marriage & Relationship on you & Dad!" (screamed at me thru the tele)I responded with a yes I know you as a child are supposed to.
Reality woke me from sleep one night in a sweating panic -- "My God! If he could have sexual contact with one of their "friends" then perhaps he molested them?!!"
The next morning I made 2 phone calls being several states away and asked the hardest freaking question I have ever had to ask in my life... I was frightened beyond death of the answer... I had to ask both of my daughters if their only known "Dad" had ever sexually abused them. Both my daughters Cherish and Adore this man I had married, more than I can say...
Relief washed over me as I heard each of their angry screams of "NO! HOW COULD YOU ASK ME THAT! DAD WOULD NEVER HURT ME!" -- of course I went on to explain my position as a "Mom" & tho it was hard for me to ask, I had to know for THEIR SAKE, and any other children.
I received an angry phone call from hubby2 -- more appropriately a "FURIOUS" phone call -- "HOW DARE YOU ASK THEM, HOW DARE YOU THINK THAT I COULD EVER HURT THEM!" -- I just let him avail himself of every filthy thing he could say to me. Quietly (it took God's strength to keep my voice calm) I told him "I had to, and if someone else had done what you had done, you would have insisted we asked our daughters together the same question." -- He slammed down the phone, it took some months and time, but later when we talked of that he said he understood completely and told me he was amazed I even had the guts to ask them.
I didnt see what I had done as being anything brave, or gutsy -- I shook thru the whole thing, cried without them knowing, I just knew I had to ask... My Mom never did anything to protect me even tho she saw with her own eyes what my dad & many others did to me... I didnt know what the outcome would be I only knew that if I did NOT ASK, I could never ever sleep again peacefully. To this day my mom drinks until she passes out -- i'm sure so she can sleep, ... But I sleep with Peace in my heart Knowing that hubby2 and my girls understand where I was coming from and what my intentions were.. not of vengance not of anger... Because of Pure Unconditional Love for the GIFT God has granted me.... Daughters that oft saved my life as in a reason not to commit suicide leaving them a worse legacy. Children who kept me alive when I feel/felt as if I could/ can no longer go on in this life.
At first I saw hubby2's sexual activity with the young lady as purely sexual abuse. Through time I have now an understanding that his abuse of alcohol and other factors he was as much victimized as the young lady he had contact with.
I still have trouble with "trust" with hubby2, but he isnt special in the trust dept. I dont trust anyone except my kiddos....
And they "Honored" our parenting with some memoirs written for a college piece... here is an excerpt.....
"I've heard many people say that love is an illusion. That it doesnt really exist. I have been lucky enough to be loved and love someone. All of my life I have had someone to love me. I
have been privileged to be loved unconditionally. Now, there are several types of love. Love between parents and children, friends and lovers. There is love between unknowns; a person can love
someone who is unknown to them, just through the emotion of compassion. I have been lucky enough to have been loved in all these ways.".....
And she ends several pages later with these heart striking words....
"Love will grow in all forms. All of my relationships in my life, the love has grown as I have grown. Whether or not the growth is
reciprocated depends on the other person. The only way love will last is if both parties grow and the love grows with them. My mom and dad are the perfect example of love growing through all
problems. For the past two years my parents have been having marriage problems. Even though they say they still love each other, their love was growing through all of these problems. It
was strong to begin with, but it was growing stronger with all of the problems that they were working out.
Love grows as a person matures. Every kind of love grows. The love in my life as grown immeasurably as I have matured. I can hardly wait to see how much more my life and the love in my life will grow as I grown and mature."

That last sentence lets me know... WE did Good, tho not perfect we did do good...
Best to All, Wifey1


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