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DH was abused as child

(13 Posts)
byanothername Wed 19-Oct-11 22:05:09

DH was seriously abused as a young child by an authority figure.

We've been married 15 years, have two small dc. We've had our major ups and downs.

He has only just been able to talk about the abuse for the first time. He's getting good professional help.

I'm just so so so so sad for him.

Does anyone have experience of being the partner of survivor? Any advice?

I might not be able to post again often tonight.

Pigglesworth Thu 20-Oct-11 07:21:29

I'm very sorry that your husband has gone through this. It must be very hard for him to deal with. I don't have any relevant experience or advice but wanted to bump this for you. It's good to hear he's getting good professional help. xxx

tallwivghoulies Thu 20-Oct-11 14:04:59

Something similar happened to an Ex. A big issue with him was guilt. He somehow blamed himself because the guy (a teacher, incidently) would let him drive his car, etc.

He refused to seek help and asked me to tell no-one, which was an awful weight on my shoulders - I was 25 and out of my depth. I really feel for you doing your best to support him and I expect it's brought up a few issues relevant to your relationship. mke sure you get adequate support too, OP.

ihatecbeebies Thu 20-Oct-11 14:54:49

Both DP and myself were physically and emotionally abused as children (never sexually if that makes a difference though?), we had very similar upbringings. I had professional help to help me move on but DP chose not to but would talk to me as a way of venting and moving past it all. Your DP is taking a huge brave step and lots of support and cuddles needed, and try and be understanding if he is finding things hard, he'll be dealing with a lot of difficult emotions and memories.

byanothername Thu 20-Oct-11 19:35:09

Thank you so much pigglesworth

tallwivghoulies yes, I think guilt is a big thing, and anger. Must have been so difficult for you to carry. I'm going down the professional help route too I think. Has brought up relationship issues but think if we manage to get through we'll get through anything! (hope!)

ihatecbeebies thanks, so encouraging re the fact he's getting proper help. And you're right about the memories, it's causing him difficulties. Even physically, shortness of breath, getting ill.

Really really appreciate all your messages

QueenofWhatever Thu 20-Oct-11 20:44:01

Tell him to look at the Stately Homes threads on here or start his own. is also useful.

Tcanny Thu 20-Oct-11 22:30:06

The fact that he is getting good help and has your support will make a massive difference here.

There will be days when all he feels like doing is hiding from the world. Be there and keep being a reasuring presence on those days.

tryinghardtounderstand Fri 21-Oct-11 03:43:35

Hi byanothername. I'm very sorry for what your DH went through.

I'm not sure I have any advice but DH was also abused, by his alcoholic father. We have been together for 9 years and also have 2 DC. He told me about the abuse very early on, but in rather a flippant way really, as if to almost shrug it off. He always maintained that he had never let it affect him, and we're only just beginning to realise that it has (him too as he hadn't linked some of his behaviours or feelings to the abuse until we started counselling) . Our relationship has suffered in several ways, including that he had a one night stand several years ago, and it seems that his abuse played a part in that (lack of boundaries as a result of them being violated so horribly as a child, inability to say no, disassociation, as well as other factors). He also finds it very hard to express his feelings, and will tell me what he thinks not what he feels when I ask him..

We have been having counselling as a couple but he isn't seeing anyone specifically to deal with his abuse, and he doesn't want to. He hates talking about it and has only opened up as much as he has because he sees it as the only way to save our marriage, Well done to your DH for having professional help, its a very brave step

byanothername Fri 21-Oct-11 18:52:31

thanks so much tryinghardtounderstand, lots of what you say rings so many bells with our relationship troubles. That's how it's been for us. But suddenly now he's taking action as I think he feels it's the only way he'll survive. it's going to be a very long journey. There's definitely a lot of "it has not affected me" which I totally understand, as he's drowning under the weight of how much it has affected him and I think it's mostly totally unbearable and impossible to face.
Really learnt lots from your post and got a lot of comfort. Take care.

tryinghardtounderstand Fri 21-Oct-11 22:37:14

All the best to you and your DH, byanothername. I'm only an occasional MN user so don't know if you can PM me (do we have to subscribe for that?), but if you can and would like to, I would be happy for you to. I have been reading 'Victims no Longer' by Mike Lew. It is written for survivors but as the partner of a survivor I have also found it very helpful

byanothername Sat 22-Oct-11 22:43:41

Thanks tryinghardto, I'll get hold of that book, it sounds v helpful and I'll try to PM you

ionysis Sun 23-Oct-11 19:48:02

Yes, my DH was violently (not sexually) abused as a child too, along with is sibings by an alcoholic step father. He was also constantly belittled, told he was worthless, useless, would amount to nothing etc. This has definitely affected him hugely. He has problems with self esteem and still believes himself deep down to be worthless.

At the outset of our relationship he was decietful - because it was something that he had learned as a survival mechanism - lie to hide your faults / mistakes / flaws or be beaten. Truth never paid or was rewarded in his life. He also had a series of unstable and volatile relationships before we met and most of his exes chatd on him further reinforcing his feelings of inadequacy and lack of trust in people.

He also had a ONS before we were married - heavily linked to low self-esteem and a poor sense of "self". He suffers from OCD and anxiety and has in the past had anger management issues. Anti-anxiety medication helped him HUGELY and he is in therapy now.

When we married it was the first time he had tried to deal with his issues or asked a partner for support or help. It was VERY difficult in the first couple of years - he was anxious, very volatile, sometimes aggressive, would interpret ANY comment as an attack if it could possibly be seen that way, he was jealous and possessive because he believed he wasn't good enough for anyone to stay with....

It took a lot of patience, consistency, reasurance and providing the most stable possible environment to enable him to overcome these issues. He is a completely different man these days though to who he was when we met - a truly wonderful husband and father - although we still have our issues. But the healing process is ongoing.

It is perfectly possible for people to overcome the injuries inflctd by an absive childhood and heal the scars - not completely but to a great extent. I wsh you and your H all the best in dealing with this. He will need your support and understanding, as I'm sure sometimes his behaviour will not be easy to live with.

byanothername Mon 24-Oct-11 19:08:59

Thanks for the hope ionysis, a huge comfort and you sound like an amazing person.

Am trying my best to provide stable possible environment, though I don't come from the easiest background myself so sometimes it's not easy!

Therapy is the key I think, including for me. Good to know that it's all possible

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