Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Wife's Perspective

During the past four months, I’ve received several emails from wives of male survivors of sexual assault. Two of them found me through this blog, the others from reading one of my two books about sexual abuse.

This came from one of those wives, who gave me permission to share as much of her email as I chose. After the first three paragraphs below, she went into details about her husband’s childhood and his adult struggles.

None of what she writes would surprise regular readers of this blog. And yet each email is a story of pain, struggles, and (sometimes) happy endings.

My reason for sharing this portion is to point out once again that we survivors aren’t the only victims.


My husband is a victim of childhood sexual abuse from his father, older brother, and father’s friends, starting around the age of 6.

We have been married for 26 years, and I am just realizing through reading your book “When a Man You Love was Abused”, that I am also a victim of his abuse. This has only just become a realization to me, that I am also a victim.

I stumbled across a Focus on the Family podcast that you were on, addressing this issue. I was actually looking for a resource on healing from sexual sins in our marriage, when your podcast came up. I was in shock when I read the title of the show, “Helping Your Husband Overcome Childhood Sexual Abuse”. I did not know that such topics existed, or even books on the subject. Even though the subject matter is so hard to listen to, it was so helpful to hear two men [Gary Roe and Cec] share their struggles and their stories, and practical ways that a wife can help her husband! Up until now, I have only seen myself as the victim and not my husband. I have not realized the depth of how wounded my husband is until I read your book. All through our marriage I have focused on how I have been the victim from my husband’s actions, not realizing that they were a manifestation of his struggle. Up until now, I have not been able to see past my hurts, to be able to help him. I can now look back and see the effects in our marriage from his abuse.


Roger Mann said...

Indeed. We who have married and tried to find some normal way of dealing with our abuse sometimes forget our wives are also suffering from the effects of the hurt done to us. This kind of hurt is not without effects on all of our relationships. I know men who have seemed to be doing fine and then they get married, have children, and when the children start getting close to the age of their abuse age it starts.

Flashbacks, memories, body memories, panic attacks, etc. all can begin to manifest. Wives, children, friends will not understand it is many times impossible to explain.

Anonymous said...

That is when my memories came back. It was when my sons were the age I was. I became extremely over protective. I knew it only takes a moment for a child to be abused. I was determined that if someone touched my child I would take care of business immediately...but I wanted to make sure nothing ever happened to them...nothing.