I work with a woman who is married w/two children; a 5 year old and an infant. Weíve worked together for 8 years. Weíre office friends, but not out of the office friends, although we get along very well. Two years ago when the shit hit the fan with my b/f and I and when I was still very, very raw, she walked into my office when I was crying. She asked what was wrong and I told her a little of what had happened; I also told her my b/f had been sexually abused as a child which had caused some of his behavior at the time. She then shared with me that her husband had also been sexually abused. At that time I was so wrapped up in my own issues, I didnít take that conversation any further; neither one of us has ever mentioned it again. She said it so off the cuff as if it didnít matter and I was so new to all of this that I dismissed it myself. Well, in the years that have passed, itís come to the forefront of my mind many, many times. This woman works like an animal, she takes care of her house, her kids, her extended family, and everything that has to do with living with practically no help from her husband whatsoever. For months now, he hasnít worked, yet the kids are in day care and more often than not, she is the one who drops them off and picks them up. She is a professional who does not have a 9-5 job, yet because he wonít, he forces her to do things that he could easily do which sometimes puts her job at risk. She is brilliant, my boss likes her and he sees whatís going on, which is the only reason he deals with it. Most recently, she even spoke of taking whatís left of her vacation time and getting a 2nd job so she can buy enough X-mas presents for the kids.
My problem is that I truly believe her husband is in major crisis right now and she is by extension. There is not one doubt in my mind that he is suffering, but does not tell his wife why; he may not know himself. This woman is a really nice person, but I donít know how receptive she would be to me suggesting to her that many, if not all of the problems they are facing are due to her husbandís csa. I know so much about her because she will tell me some of the most intimate details of her life, yet for as much as I know, I donít feel like I know her at all.
I know sheís hurting; I see it every day and I want to reach out to her with some information, but I just donít know how to broach this subject. Any suggestions?
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.