Last week, my husband of 36 years finally revealed to me that he was sexually abused by his sister(6 years his senior)when he was 11. Though nothing like this had ever crossed my mind, I've always known there was something not quite right -not with him- not in our relationship. Truth be told, I had internalized that it was me - largely because I was told that in subtle and not so subtle ways. I have twice sought therapy to figure out my problems.
I think that my husband is doing all the right things. He's shared this dark, horrific secret, he's seen his PCP and has an appointment to begin therapy this week. I realize that I also need to take some steps as well to get myself into therapy.
But, in the mean time, what I would like to know here, is how do wives deal with the anger, or do you not feel any? I keep going over and over in my head things in our marital past that suddenly now make perfect sense...from intimacy issues, to trust issues, to issues with substance abuse, pornography and the list goes on. Thirty six years of coping with these and other "crisis" issues many (though not all) of which can be traced right back to the sexual assault of a little boy.
I want so desperately to be the support my husband needs and I'm pretty confident that I have the strength to do it. As for my husband, I've always known him to be a strong man, but I had NO idea how strong! I know he can't be my sounding board. I know that can only come from a therapist, but I'm finding that biting my tongue about the havoc this horrific situation has wreaked on him, on our marriage, and by association, on me.
What am I allowed to say without contributing to the guilt and shame the abuse has caused him. And though I understand it on an intellectual level, there is part of me that is angry that he waited 40 years into our relationship to tell me this. Is there anyone out there that can relate to my feelings and tell me where to put them?? Thanks so much for being here!!!!