This is my first time being on this site, and I think that it brings a lot of light and hope into the lives of men who have had virtually nowhere to turn.
I am married to a rape victim who has kept it hidden for six years. I knew about the rape before we were married, but until a month ago, I had no idea how much it affected both of our lives. We were married in May of 1998, but I had known him from high school and he was always the guy that every girl wanted to date. I was almost sixteen and he was almost twenty. After about a couple of months, we started to lose touch and he married another woman. I came back into the picture after they had divorced in 1997.
There was a definite difference from the first time that we met. He was no longer the carefree person I remembered, and he had no desire to do things that I thought he would have loved to do. He told me about the rape the first month that we started dating. It was devastating to listen to because the three men that had raped him also raped him of the will to enjoy life and feel comfortable with others.
The hardest thing to talk about is the way things were when we were first married. Now that my husband is getting counseling, we read over pamphlets and websites with all kinds of information about male rape. As I read over them, I can pick out things that happened when we were first together. My husband would tell me that I was cheating on him when I wasn't, but now I know that comes from not being able to trust people due to the rape. This is just one of the things that would trigger something in my memory, and now I say, "Aha! That's why this happened or that's why he acts like this!" But it's not the easiest thing to deal with. Sometimes I forget that I need to be patient, and I want to defend myself against something totally off the wall that he is saying. So I get all p.o.'d and then he gets p.o.'d. And what can I do then? I would rather tell him to leave me alone, but that is no solution. I know that I love him, and I want to help him through this the best way I know how. It just is really tough to watch the one that you want to be with for the rest of your life have to jump every hurdle possible to at least have some peace of mind.
My husband and I have two wonderful boys. He loves our kids more than life itself. I hope that one day he can tell them that he is proud of himself for overcoming the feeling that he was not a good enough person to deserve a family or even a chance to live.
So to all of you partners and loved ones of victims, do not give up the ship! Know that one day your loved ones will have that peace of mind they long for. Remember that they still need kind and comforting words, kisses and hugs even when the world seems to have turned its back on them.
Thanks for letting me talk.