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Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-20-2012 07:18 PM
JustAMan2
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwant2bhappy View Post
JustAMan2 and Thor~

I do understand what you two are saying. I should have told him before we got married. Though, I was only 18 and pregnant and married at 19, I was a kid myself.

I too was 7 when this happened and it was my brother who had done this to me. I have always thought about it, but also wondered if it was just a dream/nightmare. I also thought he was just experimenting. I must mention he also committed suicide around the same time.

As I got older, I felt how could I accuse him of this when he isn't here to defend himself. That is where the "guilty" part comes to play. I am now trying very hard to overcome the "guilty" feelings toward him.

My husband and children did deserve better then what I have given them. You both are right, I should have told him. He has suffered just as much as you two have.
IWant2BeHappy,

Don't beat yourself up over it, the key now is to heal and be all you can be for your husband and kids as you move forward.

My wife's molester/rapist is now dead too. He was killed by a hit-and-run driver. We suspect that he was molesting more than one girl. Perhaps one girl told and her dad or some other person took care of the problem. We suspect that because the police never REALLY looked all that hard for the person who did it. They just sort of took a report and that was that. We suspect that it was known in the community that he was a child molester and it was sort of a "good riddance" kind of thing.

I hope your husband will read the book "Haunted Marriage". It will help him understand that he plays a vital role in your healing.

Best of luck to you!! You have done a very difficult thing...I hope you can continue the work of healing.
02-20-2012 04:06 PM
Love Song
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

For someone to be able to talk about being abused shows where they are in the healing process. That your wife didn't talk about it just showed that she wasn't ready. Her not disclosing the abuse to you early on was an unhealthy reaction to the abuse. Meaning she obviously wasn't in a healthy place. And honestly pushing an abusee to do something they aren't ready to can cause more harm then good.

Yes it would have been a better idea to tell you that she was abused sooner. Yes that would have made things easier for you. But she obviously didn't know how to handle it and I think it's more important that she isn't pushed beyond her limits.
02-20-2012 02:46 PM
Thor
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan2 View Post
Thor,

Are you really me in an alternate universe?
Pretty much!

My wife was about the same age as yours. The perp was an adult neighbor friend of her parents. A married couple in fact, but I don't know if the wife was in on the abuse or not. The couple was childless but liked to babysit or have neighborhood kids over. My wife's parents had no idea they were delivering their daughter to abusers when they walked her over there.

I know he used a kiss in front of her parents as a coercion. To this date my wife does not like kissing, I presume it is related.

Where you and I differ is my wife's response as a teen. She now says she was "promiscuous" as a teen, contrary to what she told me when we were dating and all along in our marriage. She always said she had been with 3 long term boyfriends in high school into freshman year of college. I met her in college. She won't say what she means by "promiscuous" now. Some things never added up in the past but I assumed she was basically honest in her disclosures, so the inconsistencies didn't bother me. An old letter from a high school boyfriend found recently really blows things out of the water in terms of promiscuity. I have been having a lot of difficulty processing what is said and implied in the letter.

Ironically, though, I was attracted to her adventurous sexuality when we were dating. After hearing comments about how married men have no sex, I was encouraged and felt lucky to have a fiance who enjoyed sex without hangups. The fact that she was apparently sexually uninhibited prior to the wedding led me to the same kind of conclusion you reached, that the wife was normal so it must be me that was defective.

My information and world view just did not include any real understanding of CSA back then. I made so many mistakes and wasted so much time.
02-20-2012 01:06 PM
JustAMan2
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor View Post
Iwant2bhappy, I know you wrote this in pain. I am truly sorry for your suffering. This thread has almost taken on an Us vs. Them tone which I am not comfortable with because both sides are suffering. It really should be US, the survivors and the secondaries, vs THEM the perpetrators. We are all the victims of the perpetrators.

So with respect and no animosity I will answer your question.

I think she could have done it with the same words she used, only she should have done it 30 years sooner. She said "There's something I should tell you about myself. I was sexually abused as a child". Or words very very similar to that. Then she told me a little tiny bit, really only her age and that the perp was a non-family member neighbor. She told me of one coercion used by him to keep her silent.

She could have said this at any time, including the conversation I mentioned in my last post of when I disclosed a minor thing to her about my past.

She could have said "Yes, I was" in response to the 3 times I asked directly. Twice I asked if she had been molested, and once I asked if she had ever been raped. I asked because she was having a fairly strong conversation about the topic related to a course in college or a story on tv. I really had no idea about the issue, but she seemed quite invested in it, so I asked.

She could have told me that she was having nightmares after the first baby was born. She could have said that she thought the issues were behind her, but she was having flashbacks and nightmares related to something that was done to her as a small child.

Every day was an opportunity to tell me, either during good times or when there was a marital issue in play. She had over 11,000 opportunities to tell me but didn't.

As Justaman2 has so eloquently stated, the purpose of telling the spouse is so that both can heal and have as much happiness as possible, as soon as possible.
Thor,

Are you really me in an alternate universe? I asked my wife 3 times as well, and all three times she lied.

Her abuser/molester was a neighbor as well, much older than she was. He intimidated her by telling her that if she reported him to anyone he would kill her entire family. She was 7...she, of course, as any child would, believed him.

Certain TV shows etc. would bring out the worst in my wife. She was physically distant most of the time.

My love language is "physical touch" and I am a fairly high drive man (within normal range, but on the high end of the scale for my age--but I'm not overweight; I lift weights, stay in shape, eat right and thankfully don't have to take any meds)--so my needs were (and still are) high and her desire to meet those needs was almost zero.

This all happened AFTER the wedding. Before the wedding, she couldn't get enough of me. Although a virgin when we married, she was none-the-less very sexual towards me before the marriage. After the marriage, I felt like she found me repulsive.

Like you Thor, I blamed myself (in addition to my wife blaming me). I read everything I could get my hands on to try to figure out what I was doing wrong. I wanted so much to have my wife open up to me sexually and be my true mate--to connect with her in that most intimate way.

But I was repelled almost constantly. After a while I just figured she found me repulsive sexually. BUT...she wouldn't tell me why...again, I just figured it was ME. As you might imagine I had some previous self-esteem issues and this didn't help any.

IWantToBeHappy...understand that I'm not being critical of you personally. I feel so much sorrow and pain for you and other victims of this terrible crime.

BUT...as with so many things in life, you are not the only one who has been hurt. I feel it's important for people like Thor and me to tell our stories here on this forum.

It's not "us" versus "them" or "you". Not at all. As Thor stated so well, the enemy is the abuser/molester/criminal/pervert. He leaves a WIDE path of destruction that includes many more people than the person he abuses. Husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, family, friends...the list is endless ALL have suffered as a result.

We are not attacking you or other abuse victims. But we feel OUR story must be told too. I know in telling that story it FEELS like an attack to you, but it's not.
02-20-2012 11:43 AM
Thor
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwant2bhappy View Post
JustAMan2 and Thor...

Just exactly how did you expect your wives to tell you she was abused? I am really curious to know how that conversation would go...
Iwant2bhappy, I know you wrote this in pain. I am truly sorry for your suffering. This thread has almost taken on an Us vs. Them tone which I am not comfortable with because both sides are suffering. It really should be US, the survivors and the secondaries, vs THEM the perpetrators. We are all the victims of the perpetrators.

So with respect and no animosity I will answer your question.

I think she could have done it with the same words she used, only she should have done it 30 years sooner. She said "There's something I should tell you about myself. I was sexually abused as a child". Or words very very similar to that. Then she told me a little tiny bit, really only her age and that the perp was a non-family member neighbor. She told me of one coercion used by him to keep her silent.

She could have said this at any time, including the conversation I mentioned in my last post of when I disclosed a minor thing to her about my past.

She could have said "Yes, I was" in response to the 3 times I asked directly. Twice I asked if she had been molested, and once I asked if she had ever been raped. I asked because she was having a fairly strong conversation about the topic related to a course in college or a story on tv. I really had no idea about the issue, but she seemed quite invested in it, so I asked.

She could have told me that she was having nightmares after the first baby was born. She could have said that she thought the issues were behind her, but she was having flashbacks and nightmares related to something that was done to her as a small child.

Every day was an opportunity to tell me, either during good times or when there was a marital issue in play. She had over 11,000 opportunities to tell me but didn't.

As Justaman2 has so eloquently stated, the purpose of telling the spouse is so that both can heal and have as much happiness as possible, as soon as possible.
02-20-2012 11:28 AM
Thor
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

JustaMan2, once again I could pretty much just say "ditto" to your posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan2 View Post
My wife, after telling me of what she endured as a little girl, confessed that she KNEW ALL ALONG (for 23 years of marriage) that the problems in our marriage--I speak here of the sexual ones--but there were others related to her CSA too--MOSTLY came from her side of the bed.

I realize that I brought my own "junk" to the bed too--we all do.

The difference was that I sat my bride-to-be down ahead of time and offered to share with her my complete sexual past. She said she "didn't want to hear it" (that was a red flag that I didn't pick up on).
Another interesting coincidence. About 2 months or so before the wedding I said to my wife "There's something I should tell you about myself", and I told her something about my sexual past which I thought important in terms of full disclosure, though it was nothing serious. She pretty much didn't say anything in response.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan2 View Post
CSA survivors are deeply, deeply wounded and I don't want to minimize that in any way.

BUT...so are their spouses!!! It's time to end the cycle. It's time to speak up. It's time to heal.
.
.
.
What I'm saying is that with all that history in our marriage (and other things too) it's not as simple as just all of the sudden having the REAL truth and then turning off a light switch on all those feelings of rejection etc. that I experienced for 23 years.
It is ironic that spouses are being told to "just get over it" and "your emotional pain isn't important".


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan2 View Post
Just like her, I now have some serious scars. I'm not equating my scars to hers, but none-the-less...
The scars cannot be equated, true. She experienced a few events as a child and has suffered some recurrent nightmares or flashbacks. She experienced unpleasantness during sex. My wife says she has been very good at compartmentalizing. I on the other hand have had daily rejections. I have worried and agonized and analyzed many many times over the years about what was wrong with me. Every time I sat down next to her and she moved away slightly. Every time I kissed her and she recoiled.

She experienced a few really bad moments and then has had some really bad moments as part of the fallout. We secondaries have had a slow constant simmer of injury. No the scars are not the same at all, but I don't think secondaries should be considered relatively un-scarred in comparison.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan2 View Post
So, you see, it really wasn't HER that pushed us to this place where she will hopefully heal....She was not "ready" to face this. I really, unknowingly, forced her into that decision. Like a drug addict or a drunk, they have to get to the place where the giving up of the bad behavior becomes the lesser of two evils. In my wife's case, continue living the lie or lose her husband
Yes, same here. My wife told me when I approached her with the need for marriage therapy. She whipped out the info of being abused in some kind of desperation to keep me from leaving. Which is why she has not pursued IC, and she quit MC after 2 sessions.
02-20-2012 11:22 AM
JustAMan2
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchantment View Post
Hi JustAMan ~

Have you been able to forgive your wife for not telling you in the beginning? Perhaps it is only me, but when I read some of the posts here there is an element of edginess, of bitterness, of resentment on the part of the abused's spouse.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing - it helps the one who is forgiving as much so, maybe even more so, than the one who is being forgiven.

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." - P Boese

Hoping that you and your wife can make strides in your healing together.

Best wishes.
Enchantment,

What I struggle with most is when my wife appears to "stall out" on her healing. That's difficult.

Just like when certain sounds, smells, actions etc. take her back to the "bad place" of her abuse, so do certain behaviors in my wife (or LACK of certain behaviors) take me to a bad place.

Again, I'm not equating her feelings with mine, but just trying to give you a sense of what it's like.

I do realize that healing, like so many other things in life, has an ebb and flow to it. Nothing may happen for a time, and then all of the sudden great strides will be taken, then nothing again for a time. Such is the nature of healing.

I guess to equate it to anything might be difficult to explain. But it's like a person who has been repeatedly struck. When anyone raises their hand/arm, they automatically flinch.

I "automatically" go to a not so good place when my wife does certain things, or DOESN'T do certain things. It's deeply entrenched after 23 years of not knowing. Now I do, but still, those feeling are there for me, and I know she has her own demons too because she's been in this hell for longer than 23 years.

I DO control how I ACT/REACT...what I am describing is what goes on inside.

To answer your question: Forgiveness, like healing, is a process. I'm on the road in that process. I'm in I/C to help me with that as well.

Thank you for your thoughts.
02-20-2012 09:53 AM
Enchantment
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan2 View Post
Hey everybody, it's me, the OP.

To be clear, I want to say again that I realize that sometimes CSA victims have REPRESSED memories. They honestly don't know why they act the way they do. It isn't until the memories are "triggered" and come flooding back that the pieces begin to fall into place for the victim.

This was NOT the case with my wife, and several others however.

My wife, after telling me of what she endured as a little girl, confessed that she KNEW ALL ALONG (for 23 years of marriage) that the problems in our marriage--I speak here of the sexual ones--but there were others related to her CSA too--MOSTLY came from her side of the bed.

I realize that I brought my own "junk" to the bed too--we all do.

The difference was that I sat my bride-to-be down ahead of time and offered to share with her my complete sexual past. She said she "didn't want to hear it" (that was a red flag that I didn't pick up on).

I want to say again that my PURPOSE in starting this thread was and still is: IF I can get one CSA victim who has not told their spouse WHY they are rejecting them or engaging in other unacceptable behaviors in their marriage...if by reading about what it's like to be in my shoes, or those of Thor or other secondary survivors...if that causes JUST one survivor to open up, start healing and move forward...then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

CSA survivors are deeply, deeply wounded and I don't want to minimize that in any way.

BUT...so are their spouses!!! It's time to end the cycle. It's time to speak up. It's time to heal.

My wife told me that when we were dating she fell really, really hard for me. She said that she honestly thought that because of her deep feelings of love for me that all the "junk" was behind her.

I believe she genuinely felt that way. Who wouldn't want to put that "junk" behind them and move forward in a committed, loving marriage?

But it wasn't long (the honeymoon, actually!!!) until it became evident to her (I was clueless as to WHY but I knew SOMETHING was wrong) that she had not "moved on". She had the keys the whole time.

So, as I experienced rejection after rejection after rejection, as I searched for answers but got none, as I asked her questions, as I faced accusation after accusation that I was a pervert and there was something "wrong" with me...

What I'm saying is that with all that history in our marriage (and other things too) it's not as simple as just all of the sudden having the REAL truth and then turning off a light switch on all those feelings of rejection etc. that I experienced for 23 years.

Just like her, I now have some serious scars. I'm not equating my scars to hers, but none-the-less...

SO...my main theme again is:

To CSA victims out there who have not yet told someone and sought healing: Stop putting yourself through this!! Stop putting your mate and your friends and your family through this!! You CAN and WILL be better. The answer lies not in covering it up or pretending it's all OK, the answer lies in getting it out and dealing with it in a healthy and productive way. Difficult??? Oh, yes, I won't lie to you here!!! Yes...very difficult!! Worth it??? YES!!!! SO worth it!!!

IF you are blessed with a mate that stayed with you in spite of you not speaking up, you can almost be assured they will stay, be your ally and help you heal, but they DO deserve a REAL mate. And YOU, as a victim, deserve to move on with your life as well.

My wife AVOIDED dealing with this problem for YEARS. It has been at TREMENDOUS cost to her, to me and to our marriage, just for starters.
Hi JustAMan ~

Have you been able to forgive your wife for not telling you in the beginning? Perhaps it is only me, but when I read some of the posts here there is an element of edginess, of bitterness, of resentment on the part of the abused's spouse.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing - it helps the one who is forgiving as much so, maybe even more so, than the one who is being forgiven.

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." - P Boese

Hoping that you and your wife can make strides in your healing together.

Best wishes.
02-20-2012 09:47 AM
JustAMan2
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchantment View Post
We can pontificate all we want that people should fully disclose all there is to know about themselves, good or bad, prior to marriage.

However, the reality is that someone who has been abused, sexual or otherwise, especially as a child, will have much greater chances of not growing and developing in an emotionally healthy way whereby they would simply not be able to disclose this information. They may not even realize until a very long time later what a tremendous impact their abuse may have in shaping their lives and relationships.

Therefore, I think it is a waste of precious time and resource to blame the abused for not being able to live up to some supposed obligation to disclose. Accept that they often could not disclose at the point you got married. Accept that they could not until a point in time that they were ready to face it.

Instead, employ your powers of empathy and compassion in the here and now to help support your spouse to overcome their demons, and well and truly let your regrets and hurts go about the past in much the same way the abused must. Otherwise, the both of you will not be able to move forward. Forgive your abused spouse for not being able to tell you in times past and move forward.

Wishing you all the best.
Enchantment...you are exactly right. The CSA victim is broken at a very fundamental level. It makes it difficult for them to see that the only way to a better place is to "tell" and get help. They often bear much shame and embarrassment...not that those feelings are "correct", for the one who should feel them is the criminal who violated the child.

I want you to know that I AM employing my powers of compassion etc. with my wife. If you will read all my posts you will see how I reacted when she told me. The next morning--early--as in first thing--I got us into counseling. I support her in her I/C--although she has quit for now--and our couples counseling (she has quit this for now as well). I don't mean I just pay for it, I mean I support her!! If she asks me for something, and I, as the healthy mate, conclude that it will help her and us move forward, I try to the best of my ability to do it.

Sometimes it's simple things, like "Hold me." or, "I just want to be held in such-and-such a way because it makes me feel safe." "Listen to me." (I do a lot of that!!!).

I drove her to her sessions because she would be so "wrung out" afterwards that she didn't feel like driving--or didn't want to be alone.

I've taken her away for weekends or evenings where we agree not to discuss our problems, but just really enjoy each other as a couple. (I think married couples should do this anyway--but in particular those who are struggling with a difficulty.) Not ignoring the reality of the problems, but we all need a break.

I've read countless material on my role as her mate. I've talked to other victims, trying to understand what my wife needs.

My wife also made some really bad financial decisions and hid it from me--I'm helping her figure all that out--but my support doesn't end there. I've assumed responsibility for ALL our household bills until she can clear up the mess she made. Believe it or not it's ALL related to the abuse and her difficult family background.

My wife would NEVER have faced this issue and told me had it not been for the fact that she believed I was done with this marriage. I will admit that I was very, very frustrated and was considering whether separation would wake her up or not. But I was not yet to the point of considering divorce.

So, you see, it really wasn't HER that pushed us to this place where she will hopefully heal. It was me too. To compensate for my marriage, I buried myself in work. While it was good that I made some decent money there (we would now be bankrupt if not for that!!), it was not a good long-term "fix". I married a wife, I wanted a wife and a mate.

She was not "ready" to face this. I really, unknowingly, forced her into that decision. Like a drug addict or a drunk, they have to get to the place where the giving up of the bad behavior becomes the lesser of two evils. In my wife's case, continue living the lie or lose her husband (she believed). Part of that dynamic was the money...she was so far in debt that she believed she could have NEVER made it on her own (her thinking).

I WISH it had come from her. I think it would have been better if she had wanted to heal on her own. She still resents me for "forcing her hand" (in her mind).
02-20-2012 08:53 AM
JustAMan2
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Hey everybody, it's me, the OP.

To be clear, I want to say again that I realize that sometimes CSA victims have REPRESSED memories. They honestly don't know why they act the way they do. It isn't until the memories are "triggered" and come flooding back that the pieces begin to fall into place for the victim.

This was NOT the case with my wife, and several others however.

My wife, after telling me of what she endured as a little girl, confessed that she KNEW ALL ALONG (for 23 years of marriage) that the problems in our marriage--I speak here of the sexual ones--but there were others related to her CSA too--MOSTLY came from her side of the bed.

I realize that I brought my own "junk" to the bed too--we all do.

The difference was that I sat my bride-to-be down ahead of time and offered to share with her my complete sexual past. She said she "didn't want to hear it" (that was a red flag that I didn't pick up on).

I want to say again that my PURPOSE in starting this thread was and still is: IF I can get one CSA victim who has not told their spouse WHY they are rejecting them or engaging in other unacceptable behaviors in their marriage...if by reading about what it's like to be in my shoes, or those of Thor or other secondary survivors...if that causes JUST one survivor to open up, start healing and move forward...then MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

CSA survivors are deeply, deeply wounded and I don't want to minimize that in any way.

BUT...so are their spouses!!! It's time to end the cycle. It's time to speak up. It's time to heal.

My wife told me that when we were dating she fell really, really hard for me. She said that she honestly thought that because of her deep feelings of love for me that all the "junk" was behind her.

I believe she genuinely felt that way. Who wouldn't want to put that "junk" behind them and move forward in a committed, loving marriage?

But it wasn't long (the honeymoon, actually!!!) until it became evident to her (I was clueless as to WHY but I knew SOMETHING was wrong) that she had not "moved on". She had the keys the whole time.

So, as I experienced rejection after rejection after rejection, as I searched for answers but got none, as I asked her questions, as I faced accusation after accusation that I was a pervert and there was something "wrong" with me...

What I'm saying is that with all that history in our marriage (and other things too) it's not as simple as just all of the sudden having the REAL truth and then turning off a light switch on all those feelings of rejection etc. that I experienced for 23 years.

Just like her, I now have some serious scars. I'm not equating my scars to hers, but none-the-less...

SO...my main theme again is:

To CSA victims out there who have not yet told someone and sought healing: Stop putting yourself through this!! Stop putting your mate and your friends and your family through this!! You CAN and WILL be better. The answer lies not in covering it up or pretending it's all OK, the answer lies in getting it out and dealing with it in a healthy and productive way. Difficult??? Oh, yes, I won't lie to you here!!! Yes...very difficult!! Worth it??? YES!!!! SO worth it!!!

IF you are blessed with a mate that stayed with you in spite of you not speaking up, you can almost be assured they will stay, be your ally and help you heal, but they DO deserve a REAL mate. And YOU, as a victim, deserve to move on with your life as well.

My wife AVOIDED dealing with this problem for YEARS. It has been at TREMENDOUS cost to her, to me and to our marriage, just for starters.
02-18-2012 10:35 PM
DTO
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwant2bhappy View Post
I am the wife and the abused.
Posted via Mobile Device
Gotcha. I think I got part of your post confused with someone elses.

I do truly sympathize with what you endured in the past.
02-18-2012 09:34 PM
DTO
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by priclesspearl View Post
And FWIW, behaviour does not have to be malicious to qualify as abusive. At the heart of any type of abuse is the depersonalization of the the victim. The abuser does not see the other person as someone with their own indepent life, desires, thoughts and feelings. Which is why it is so easy to put one's own emotional comfort ahead of whatever pain the behaviour may cause the victim. I know in my case, I existed only as a coping mechanism for my ex. I don't think he was tryng to hurt me, but his experiences made it impossible for him see me or our relationship in any way except as a way for him to deal with his issues. I was his "dumping ground".
Agree. Likewise, I existed as a way for my ex to have a home and a good father for the kids she wanted. One of her friends tried to tell me indirectly, as in "what do you think of this friend I have - she does not like sex and got married to have kids".
02-18-2012 09:14 PM
DTO
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor View Post
If my wife had no memory of the abuse or thought she was completely over it, then it would have been no big deal for her to answer a YES when I asked her THREE TIMES if she had been abused or raped. In any case, once she realized she was having serious problems after we were married it was her duty to inform her spouse.
I really agree with this.

I would add that I was not put out so much by the failure to tell me per se. It is more the fact that she knew she had not overcome it, and would not bother to fix it, that was the real problem.

Later on, I came to understand that it's understood most abuse survivors have these sorts of issues. If it such common knowledge, I have a hard time believing that the abuse survivors themselves don't believe it to be a problem. That is where I came to believe that full disclosure is essential.
02-18-2012 08:54 PM
DTO
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithnhope View Post
It is tragic for the survivor and for the partner but when you blame a survivor for not divulging his/her history, you are saying that him/her didn't handle their trauma the way you think they should have.
Disagree. Personally, I did not have an issue with how my wife handled her abuse. What I did have issue with was her coming into the marriage knowing she could not meet the basic needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithnhope View Post
Most abuse is about power and control so it is relatively easy to assume that most survivors will have difficulty with issues related to power/control. Sex is one of those issues.
That is exactly my point. It's fairly forseeable that survivors will have sex issues. It might seem cynical, but I think an earlier poster had it right: abuse victims know they are likely to be seen as less desireable. I would go further and say the greater the distress, the more likely the victim will hide the abuse.
02-18-2012 08:37 PM
DTO
Re: Rights of a spouse to know about past sexual abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwant2bhappy View Post
Do you even know what you are even talking about?
Absolutely I do. I was a co-victim / "secondary survivor" / whatever label for the entire 16 years of my marriage. As I have noted elsewhere, my admitted some issues prior to marriage but downplayed their severity and falsely promised that she would be able to provide for me sexually.

Turns out she was just doing the minimum to keep me, promised better, and instead things got worse from the get-go. She did not consider that she would have to work hard to overcome it. She eventually admitted she never had the desire but assumed things would change after marriage and noted that fixing her issues was not worth the effort.

So how did the marriage go? When the desire did not emerge, she decided early on that she would deny and then blame-shift - anything as long as she did not have to honor her commitment or suffer any consequences from her failure to do so. It was not until I pressed the issue that the truth came out. Besides that, it was basically occasional pity sex (1x month avg) with occasional periods of long-term refusal.

I know how it goes. I've read up (much of it on boards like this). From what I've read spouses rarely do a 180 and get completely healthy. Many attempt to get help and find it too hard. Many tolerate their dysfunction and avoid sexual situations. And some are angry their spouses will not accept a bad sex life. My ex was ok being inadequate but resented my desire. She did not care that me just "accepting it" was solving the wrong problem.

I don't get why you're opposed to what I said. We both agree that this should be disclosed prior to marriage. You are fairly lucky your wife admitted the truth and seemingly is trying to do better. Maybe our different outcomes impact our perspectives.
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