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#418673 - 12/10/12 08:55 AM My introduction - wife of abuse survivor
doubleL Offline

Registered: 12/10/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Illinois

I'm a twenty-something wife of sexual abuse survivor, and I greatly fear that he'll find out I've joined this discussion board, but the abuse done to him and the affects on his and our life have been weighing on me lately. He's my best friend and the love of my life, but he's also extremely private and asked that I never disclose what's happened to him to others. I hope that the anonymity of this place will excuse me of betraying his trust on this subject.

A little bit of background on his situation:

He was sexually abused by his adoptive step-father when he was just a young child. His abuser wasn't in his and his mother's lives for very long because the man was also physically violent towards my husband's mother, which led to their divorce. After the divorce, to my knowledge, the man wasn't in my husband's presence ever again.

As an adolescent, my husband began exploring his sexuality by acting out sexually with a male relative of about the same age. My husband was a willing participant but took a submissive role in the acts.

In at least one instance, the above adolescent relative brought a male neighbor into their activity who then sexually assaulted my husband against his will.

My husband and I both identify ourselves and bisexual, though I have never participated in same-sex activity nor do I have a strong desire to do so.

My husband told me of all this back when we were still dating as teenagers. It was very difficult to do so, of course, and I offered my love and support. Ever since that time, however, he has closed back up on the subject and wishes to leave it in the past. He has no desire to seek professional counseling and feels that he is "over it." I have a harder time being "over it" because he has interest in gay sex (pornography, fantasies, role-playing) which affects me, and I have a hard time not connecting any fetishism/desires he has with the abuse he suffered as a young child and teenager.

The major reason I have been stuck on these issues lately is because his ex-stepfather/abuser has shown up on Facebook, and even worse, my mother-in-law has actually befriended him. I guess she can forgive him of the domestic violence, but if she knew the full extent of his abuse in their household, she'd want to kill him. This man is a homeless, convicted sex offender in the state in which he lives (convicted of a crime against an adult woman though). I've managed on multiple occasions to report his accounts to the Facebook staff and have them removed because convicted sex offenders are not allowed on the site. However, currently, the man has slightly changed his name and hasn't uploaded a photo which I could then link to the sex offender registry profile. He's actually tried to "friend" myself and my husband, which we simply reject, but I've been tempted to send him a message to let him know just what I think of him. I just don't want to get in trouble since I've imagined violently assaulting him in order to punish him for what he did the the most important person in my life...

So...there I've typed a lot and I could type a whole lot more. I hope to find some sort of outlet for all thoughts, feelings, and issues swirling in my brain. Any help from you all would be wonderful.

P.S. My husband's and my last name is the same of his abuser since that man adopted him and had his birth certificate changed. I have to live with the last name of a vile human being and very much wish to have our name changed to my husband's 2nd stepfather, the loving man who raised my husband and is involved in our lives on a regular basis. My husband doesn't want to go through the hassle of changing our surnames, but I fear this will become more of an issue in my mind if/when we have children. I would never want to brand my children with a last name that I associate with evil.

Edited by doubleL (12/10/12 09:23 AM)

#418689 - 12/10/12 01:44 PM Re: My introduction - wife of abuse survivor [Re: doubleL]
SamV Offline

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5972
Loc: Sunnny, South East USA
Hello doubleL and welcome.

This is a great deal of support and advocacy for a survivor and survivors worldwide, thank you. Make sure that you get support for your supporting, that is imperative. We welcome you and your survivor and look forward to getting to know you.

MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

#418758 - 12/11/12 01:04 AM Re: My introduction - wife of abuse survivor [Re: doubleL]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4287
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
dear doubleL,

welcome. thank you for doing for your husband what he is not able, ready and willing to do for himself at this time. any information and insignts you gain will be helpful, i am sure - and there is an abundand\ce of that here.

i too was abused by a step-father - starting at 5 1/2 with the physical/sexual part continuing till age 13 and the verbal/emotional part going on until i left home at 18. so i am familiar with that dynamic. i also was "adopted"by the perp - so i have his last name. i would love to have shed that years ago - but it just would have caused more problems with my mom and having to explain to others - so i just resigned myself to it. it might be a good thing in your family's situation to consider - but it will have to be with his agreement of course. there is something empowering and transforming about changing one's name - you see lots of that in myths, fairy tales and the bible - a concept that many people acknowledge.

sorry to ramble on - but your PS caught my attention.

hoping that your H will soon be up to facing and dealing with his past. it is worth the effort.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#418806 - 12/11/12 04:21 PM Re: My introduction - wife of abuse survivor [Re: doubleL]
doubleL Offline

Registered: 12/10/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Illinois
Thanks, traveler smile

#418808 - 12/11/12 04:31 PM Re: My introduction - wife of abuse survivor [Re: doubleL]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980

What you are doing is not a betrayal. It is the very thing that could save your marriage and improve your quality of life.

Regarding the name change, my birth father was the one who assaulted me and I changed my surname for the very reasons you stated, that I couldn't stand another day of my signature bearing the name of sheer evil.

A name change isn't NEAR the hassle I imagined it would be. Only once early on did I slip up and introduce myself by my former name, one time when I was preoccupied while I was introducing myself at a business meeting. We laughed it off. I am in California, and it was total a few hundred dollars, a few phone calls and faxes to financial institutions, and it was over. Even the driver's license and passport name change process wasn't a big deal.

Turns out, it's a routine process because of the tradition of women changing their name in marriage. It's just a little unusual when a man or a family unit does it, but still, it's routine for the court clerks. As you can imagine, most workers at financial institutions and offices endure boring and routine jobs, so an unusual name change comes across their desk and they're kind of intrigued. They welcome the break in their routine and want to converse about the name change. I didn't want to talk about it, so I told them it was for business purposes, that my name was being confused with another person of the same name. That always satisfied their curiosity.

You don't need a lawyer. You can do the documents yourself. Or, if you're like me, I was clueless and nervous so I used (It probably isn't necessary, though.)

It also helped to go immediately to and order business cards with my new name. It really helped my psyche seeing my new name in print. It also helped to see the perp's name GONE from my life. You are correct, that it will haunt you both with regret if you pass along the perp's name to future generations.

If you're up to it, do the research on name change and, when the time is right, lay out all the researched information on a table in front of your husband "to ponder."

In my case, my first and last names were the same as the pedophile perp who had attacked me throughout childhood. It's such a relief not to sign his name every time my signature is required. That's a LOT of freedom gained for just a couple of months of transitioning to a new name.

On the other matter, I believe you are right. I am not a therapist or medical professional, but as a survivor I have witnessed that EVERY survivor of sexual abuse that doesn't seek professional help ends up acting out in some unhealthy way, usually in taking up self-hurting coping practices.

You're smart, you're courageous, and you're pro-active. You are EXACTLY who your husband needs for a wife. Even more so, you are making the right moves for yourself and your family's future.

#418835 - 12/11/12 11:09 PM Re: My introduction - wife of abuse survivor [Re: doubleL]
doubleL Offline

Registered: 12/10/12
Posts: 7
Loc: Illinois
Thank you so much for sharing, WriterKeith. Every Survivor on here has a different story but I think you all can find something in common in one way or another. That's what I was hoping to find - other people to relate to my husband's story and vice versa in order to find ways to prepare myself when/if he's ready to confront the past and to find ways to process the complicated thoughts I'm having in my head. Because he asked me to protect his secret, I have to hide it too, but it eats me up. It's strange that it's hitting me so hard now (he told me probably about 7 years ago when we were still dating), but like I said before, I'm having trouble dealing with the fact that his perpetrator is on Facebook and in contact with my m-i-l.

The day before I found this place, I broke down in the shower just thinking about everything, but I couldn't tell him how I was feeling because I don't want to bring up the pain for him.


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