Anthony’s wife is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Though Anthony is among a large band of husbands of sexually abused wives, he feels very isolated because these husbands are isolated from one another. Often, these men’s wives’ desire for confidentiality prevents them from speaking out or there is a sense of shame that silences them. But together, these husbands face common battles that can include:
- A sense of rejection
- Frustration resulting from unpredictable behaviors and situations
- Emasculation resulting from dysfunctional sexual relationships
- Rage towards our wife’s perpetrator(s)
- Dealing with our wife’s eating disorder or other self-injurious behavior
- Fear over our wife’s suicidal tendencies
- Occasions of dissociation
- Marriage books and seminars that fall short in addressing our unique needs (How many of those books have you thrown against a wall?)
Yes, there’s much more . . .The content of this website is addressed towards husbands of wives who have been sexually abused as children. As husbands, they tentatively navigate through the short-term and long-term effects that the childhood sexual abuse has upon their wives. These effects may include eating disorders, self-injurious behaviors (SIB), dissociation, suicidal ideation, aversion to sexual relationship or any intimacy, sexualization, rage, posttraumatic stress disorder, impaired sense of self, and relationship difficulties.Many husbands of sexually abused wives did not know of the abuse when they were first married. Research indicates that the average age of a wife’s disclosure of childhood sexual abuse is 25.9. Couples enter marriage unaware of and unprepared for the pending disclosure and the effects of the abuse as the behavioral symptoms of trauma are lived out in the living room, bedroom, kitchen, and social interactions. Given that one in four women have been sexually abused as children – some studies contend one in three – the need to address the effects of childhood sexual abuse on marriage is warranted.Anthony described his response to his wife’s disclosure of her childhood sexual abuse by stating, “Well, at first I couldn’t believe it because . . . it was like shaking my foundations, things that I believed. . . . and now, we’re introducing something that throws all that stuff aside . . . now what do you do? Well, you’ve got to reconstruct something.”This website is devoted to the process of reconstruction. Reconstruction is a change of mind that affects perceptions, assumptions, behaviors, and expectations. It may relieve anxiety in husbands of survivors as new understanding is developed and may lead to the rediscovery or discovery of positive connection with their wives who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
The blogs and content of this website are grounded in Judeo-Christian belief and principles. Informing you of this is not intended to exclude anyone from the conversation but to establish parameters for the conversation as not all approaches to this topic of abuse and its affect upon marriage assume that marriage is sacred. The premise here is that marriage is sacred, designed by God not as a contract but as a covenant.
I’d be grateful if you’d join in the conversation.