I am married and we have 4 fantastic kids, our issues come from my wife's systematic abuse throughout her childhood, (physical, emotional, sexual), she was subjected to all manner of sick and depraved acts against her that I don't feel are printable within this forum.
We were together for 5 yrs before she spoke out to me, this was just after our relationship begain to fail back in 1992, before this time we saw her stepfather jailed for 7 yrs for the abuse he inflicted on my wife's sister, their mother being fully aware of this and I believe also involved, even their half brother was not spared by their stepfather.
In 1997 and after counselling and medication my wife faced her stepfather in the court room, again he was given 7 yrs, her mother had to be arrested before she would make even the smallest statement in support of her daughter, she totally ingored her first daughter.
My issues are devistating to a relationship that we have somehow managed to keep together over all these years.
We have in all respects a "normal" relationship, though my wife feels the need to be in control of many things, she also puts on a image that is false to the world and everyone else she comes into contact with, seemingly needing this alter-image to get by.
Within our relationship we do not have a social life, we hardly go anywhere and my wife becomes very low and takes her still present emotional memories out on the children and myself, I have tried for may years to get her to return to the GP and seek further help, she simply blanks this out, not making any comments, I feel she is in a false belief mode where she believes she is coping with everything, but failing herself most of all then failing the rest of our family.
She has cheated on me over the years and to date I know of 3 affairs, (one of those being her 2nd stepfahter who was also named but not charged in the abuse) she seems to be able to accept sex as apposed to a loving relationship, an emotionally connected relationship with me, stating even within her own court statement that she is unable to get emotionally invovled.
Don't get me wrong because many areas of our life together are great, we have fantastic days with our children and love each other with hearts that are seemigly unbreakable, the only thing is those damn shadows and ghosts that keep on filling our world and ending any attempts of making love.
She is unable to dress or undress in front of me stating she feels ugly and worthless, though she is able to hold down a full time career within commercial insurance and is very successful, seemingly needing to achieve and be successful in this, always pushing herself to the limit trying to run away from the person she is within.
When we attempt to make love it is always on her terms, I can never instigate this, I have to always wait for her to be "emotionally switch on" and even then it feels as if she is only acting out this event to please me, one wrong move, one worng comment or touching her in the wrong place (especially her brests) and the attempt to get close is over.
Always, she attempts to push the blame away from herself, never wanting to addmit she is still suffering greatly from the flash-backs and memories that was and in some repsects emotionally still is her world of abuse.
All attempts to speak with her fail, all she will say is "tell me what you want and I will do it, I can switch off". this is what I believe she has and does do no numerous occasions when we attmept to make love, simply switches off when my actions towards her make her feel one or both of the following,
1, anything I do or say brings the memories of her abusive childhood flooding back.
2. when we attempt to make love and no matter how softly I carry on walking on eggshells, it's as if she views me as one of her abusers when those memories invaid her mind, invaid our bedroom and invaid our attempts to make love.
2 yrs ago she began her 3rd affair, denying anything was happening but acting as I have seen in the past and when cheating on me in the past simple for sex, the easy way to physical satisfaction, I enede up speaking to our GP and I was placed on Prozac, the GP asked my wife to make an appointment but that good old tool of "denial" got to work again and my wife claimed there was nothing worng.
When do I tell her things now have to change or I will need to look at walking away in order to keep my own emotional state of mind intact, the pressure I am under, watching her pretend to the world that all is well, push herself within her career, never being able to settle within our home and always needing to keep herself busy, not wanting to connect with our children or myself as she should do, and most of all not wanting to face the other issues of her systematic abuse and other abusers in her childhood, is I am ashamed to say, making me begin to look for a way out.
Nothing else I have tried works, I support her, even when her spending almost saw the bailifs calling at our home, (example, £500 to get my motorcycle on the road, because it was for me and she was not the main attention and in control we could not find this money, BUT just weeks later we could find the 10k needed for her to change her car), always needing to be in control, always buying things for the kids and seemingly buying them off asn she was bought off during her childhood, attempting to buy their effection.
Many men would have left before now, but I know she does love me, she is simply lost within a circle of abuse that she keeps on repeating by having sex with other men, wanting to feel needed and loved yet regreating this after the act and diving into yet another low period, feeling dirty, feeling low and lacking self worth and self estem, a circle that has echos of her childhood, and an emotional connection I am unable to break.
WHO DO I HELP HER MOVE FORWARDS, OR IS IT TIME I LOOKED TO SUPPORTING MYSELF BEFORE THIS ISSUES TAKES CONTROL OF MY OWN EMOTIONAL STATE OF MIND.
This is a very complex situation, and a very hard one to give advice on. I am sure that is why you have no responses yet. With most situations like this people would usually tell you to "run as fast as you can" but I feel we do have some sympathy toward your wife and what she has survived. I have had a childhood similar to your wife's. I read your post and it was as if you were describing me (except for the stepfather part) I know that even with counseling and medication.. I still go thru this. I will stop seeing my counselor and stop my meds and feel I am fine, and that is when things are worse with me.. I am more promiscious (sp?), irritable, etc. I don't know the answer for you, but I can say that I truly love my husband.. and somehow I still seem to do this. My children are my life, but I know it affects them too. I know she will probably always be mentally unstable ( as I feel I will be ) This will never take away the love she has for you or your children. The only question you have to ask yourself is.. Are you willing to "deal" with this for the rest of your life? She may get help and may change.. My sister seems to be doing okay with "dealing" with what happened to us.. but then at times I think it is all pretend. I wish I could give you an answer.. or try to help, but this is all I have to offer. If you still need someone to talk to about it.. feel free to contact me. I, on the otherhand am leaving my relationship... because I feel no one should have to put up with this.. so I should stay single until I do (hopefully) get my mind right. Good luck to you, and your family. I hope you can convince your wife to seek help.. who knows.. it may really work for her.
I'm a little concerned with your response to your issue. maybe you're so frustrated about not knowing what to do that you lashed out for not getting a quick enough response, anyway I agree with another post, this is a very hard topic to advise on unless you have experienced it yourself you really have no idea what she or you are going through. I can only imagine that it must be horrible for you both. I think the affairs are part of we only do what we know and being abused sexually as a child is how she learned to interrept love. The fact that I believe that she truly loves you, makes her unable to be intimate with you because it's truly two different kinds of love. true love, a feeling one has in their heart for another person and sexual love, one that she learned as a child to be an expression of a childhood need to be accepted and loved by a parent. maybe I don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about. You have to face some hard decisions in YOUR LIFE. Can I deal with this for the rest of my life? Because the truth is that even with counseling a person does not always get better. Sometimes they just learn enough to exist. I think the control issues stem from as a child she had no control and now she can and will not allow anyone else to put her in that situation of being controlless. The reality is she has accepted this way of life and will probably never recover. Do you love her enough to stay? Or better yet can you love yourself enough to go? These are some hard questions to face. She needs to get into counseing no doubt, but she has to be willing to go, and she needs a good counselor. Some people spend years in counseling and never get the help they need because their counselor sucks at being a counselor. I think you should go to a good counselor and get some answers for yourself about you. You need to make some hard decisions and you need to be okay with those decisions you make. I wish you alll the best. Your situation is a very difficult one and I admire you for sticking it out this long. good luck to you.
Hi, many symapthies and I deeply admire your commitment and unselfish love shown to your wife. I have had a smiliar experience to you and I am struggling with the same dilemma too, whether to stay or go. My wife has formed a relationship with another woman and used her abuse to justify this. She also blamed my work as I was under alot of pressure at the time. It was like my world started falling apart. I have stuck with it and we attended a councillor- we found a great councillor who really helped getting everything into perspective and allowed for both our sides of the story to be heard. My wife is attending councilling for her abuse issues and she sometimes find it hard to talk to me about them. At times our sex life is on hold particularly recently. My ownly advise can be to hang in their and try to find a good councellor and sex therapist. The route problem is the abuse and this is what needs to be tackled primarily although there could be other issues. It is hard to get through the barriers and a painful process- just as you feel you are getting somewhere everything falls apart. You have had a lot to deal with and this is very admirable but your love for your wife has kept you there. It has been hard on you and you need alot of support as well. Try to focus on the good things in your life and build on this to find some common ground for communication. It sometimes seems the easy solution to walk away and I think of this everyday but also have kids and find alot of comfort in being a good father. The Ghosts and shadows of abuse never go away- we need to learn how to live with them and stay sane, best wishes and good luck