Today my husband told me he was sexually abused when he was a child. His reason for telling me was to let me know that if he could move on and forgive, so could I.
What am I moving on from? During our nearly 16yrs together, he has has two affairs and crossed the line other times with other women. The most recent affair happened this time last year and I have been triggering badly. He has also been physically abusive, but that stopped in '97 when I made him leave until he was willing to admit there was a problem and never hurt me physically again. He has done it twice since then, both times in the aftermaths of the affairs. This has all brought up my childhood issues of feeling unloved and abandoned (I am an adult child of an alcoholic).
I am ashamed to admit that when my husband told me what happened to him, I railed at him. How could he not tell me during these years that we have been trying to figure out what causes him to cheat? I felt that he was using it to chastise me...he could move on and I couldn't. I apologized and we talked as much as we could with the kids (7yo and 3yo) waking up and Monday morning starting. He maintains he told me this to help me heal.
I feel so badly for the small child he was. It was a male teenage neighbor who molested him over the course of 2 or 3 days. Shortly afterwards a female neighbor, also a teen attempted to have sex with him. I have always known about the female neighbor and thought of it as molestation, my husband acted like it was just sexual experimentation (at 6yo?). He now says he believes the girl was also being molested by the same perpetrator.
My husband kept it secret until he was about 12yo then told his mom. She put him in counseling and my husband believes he has completely healed and moved on. To me, I see so much leaking out. I wonder how much a therapist a single mom in the mid '80's was able to provide in a small town (did that make sense)? My son turned the same age husband was when this happened last year and I wonder, could this have been a trigger to the affair?
It's all so complicated and overwhelming. I am struggling with feeling such pain for the small child he was...yet resenting what he as an adult has put me through for nearly two decades.
How do I help him? He says he needs no help about this, is that possible? He doesn't even want to bring it up in marriage counseling but has given me permission to talk to my therapist about it. He is not in therapy and the marriage counseling has stopped but I have been wanting to start again. What do I do? What do I say? How can I...how can I just be the partner he needs in spite and because of all of this?
Please, any responses...2X4s...advice...insight...anything are welcome. I promise to learn the ropes ASAP and use the abbreviations. I just wanted to get this out.