What is a healthy way to deal with abusive husbands sexual advances?

LI - posted on 03/08/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My husband has been emotionally abusive for our entire 17 year marriage (I will explain more below). Whenever I explain how his words hurt me, shatter my self-esteem and make me fear him, he blames me at first, but eventually says he will try to stop. Within a few hours, he's making sexual advances toward me or making sexual jokes, using sexual innuendo in our conversations, etc. I pray daily that God will help me with the emotional pain and fear toward him as well as that He help me have sexual feelings toward my husband again. I used to submit to my husbands advances even though it made me feel like I am prostituting myself by having sex out of fear (my husband gets hostile -- overtly and in subtle ways if I don't give in to his advances). My question is: should I have sex with my husband in order to keep the peace in our household, even though I'm emotionally battered and afraid of my husband's emotional abuse?In the past 2 years, I have been trying to figure out why my husband is so unhappy with me, why he screams at me, unprovoked and blames me for everything, only to apologize weeks later after I ask him to help me understand why he treats me this way -- he then says its actually his fault, that he thinks he has a personality disorder and he basically doesn't like anybody. During my search for answers the last 2 years, I have come to learn that he is being verbally abusive, that it stems from his desire to control and that I am codependent (definition: I care too much about someone who is dysfunctional). I've learned that if both are willing, they should go to individual counseling and then to joint counseling or if both are not willing, then therapeutic separation is a means where they live in separate homes and try to heal (and attend individual therapy, even if only one of them) with the goal of eventually reconciling after healing. My husband says he doesn't want to spend the money to live in separate homes and that it would be too "weird" for our child to go that route, yet he will not initiate the individual/couples counseling route. Since I now realize that I am codependent and must deal with my problem of codependency, I am committed to seeking counseling for that. My question is this: has my codependency caused my husband to be able to continue to treat me this way? Meaning, if I had not tolerated his behavior for the last 17 years, would he have stopped long ago and we would have a happy marriage? Is my staying with this marriage and living under the same roof stopping him from realizing his problem and from seeking counseling for himself? Should I leave so that I can breathe again and heal and so that he will see the seriousness of his behavior? I don't think he means to hurt me. We have been married for 17 years and my husband has had such an anger & controlling problem that he has spent much of our marriage telling me how disappointed in me he is, how I should dress, wear my hair, what I should like/not like, what family I should spend time with, how I should drive, etc. He blames me for everything he perceives as wrong in his life, even though he is highly successful and is financially very secure. He says he is mad at God and walks around all day complaining about everything, every ethnicity, etc. He has had a porn addiction that he has stuffed (not looked at it for about a year) but replaced w/fantasizing about sex. On our recent wedding anniversary, he couldn't stop looking at other women in front of me even though I wore a great outfit and tried to look nice for him. I asked him if we could leave b/c I was so hurt that he was looking at women. He ignored what I said and then 10 minutes later, he handed me the car keys.
I'm scared to leave after 17 years of marriage. We also have a 2-year old son. I feel like a shell of a person, yet I know I have to heal -- especially if I hope to show my son what a healthy woman is, so someday he knows as he dates and chooses a woman to ask to marry him. I don't know how to asses the impact the whole situation has/will have on our son if I stay or if I go. We don't yell or cry about these things in front of him, but he sees a dad that is intense and who has somewhat of an angry baseline. He also sees a mom who has fun with him (our son), complements him and gives her all to him, but I wonder if he senses the empty, sad shell of a person that I am outside the role of being his mom....

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

(Rev.) Marissa - posted on 03/05/2012

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Let me clarify something here:



In my above post, I am not advocating that you leave your husband. I AM advocating that you do what it takes to protect yourself and your son. If leaving an abusive environment is what it takes, then that's what you do. But no one can make that decision for you. Here's why:



If you choose to leave, you have to be resolved that that's the best thing for you and your son's safety. If you are not resolved in that decision for yourself, you will go back time and time again. If you choose to leave, you'll question your decision many times but that resolve is what will keep you grounded in knowing you did what you felt you had to do.



I hope that makes sense.

Vivian - posted on 04/17/2011

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I have been where you are at and am proud to say that am am very blessed to have gotten out of such a bad marriage. I left my husband after our son was born and was gone for 1 1/2 years. He convinced me that he had changed and I went back to give it a chance and for my son to have a father. By the time I realized he had only gotten worse, I was pregnant with our daughter. he came home one early morning in a rage and nearly killed me and my unborn child. By the grace of God we survived and he went to prison for almost 2 years. That was over 28 years ago. i raised my 2 children alone and did the best I could with no support system. But I would not change a thing. It was hard to be a single parent but I did it. No one deserves to be abused in any way. My children's father has never seen his children since. Has made no attempt to communicate with them. They are okay with this as this is the only thing they know. He has never seen his daughter. It bothered me for a long time but I have overcome that. I am their parent and am proud of that. i know the cycle would have continued if I had stayed. I broke that cycle for me and my family. I work hard every day to help my grand chilren not have to endure any abuse and to know no one deserves it. we are all children of God and He would not expect us to allow anyone to treat us badly. This is not YOUR fault. Accept no blame for what your husband's choices in life are. Save yourself and your son before it is to late. Go to your local women's shelter for advice on how to get out. I have been involved with my local shelter's most of my adult life and they are there for you. No you are not alone like I was so many years ago. REACH out for what is freely given from the heart. DO SOMETHING BEFORE IT IS TO LATE!! With Love from a friend.

(Rev.) Marissa - posted on 03/05/2012

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Li,



I want to echo what Vivian said about this NOT being your fault! An abuser abuses because they choose to, not because of their victim. Abuse is a choice. You hit the nail on the head when you said that your husband wants power and control over you. Just like every snowflake that falls from the sky is unique and special, so are you! There is no one else like you and you do not deserve abuse!



You are not alone! 1 in 4 women will be abused in their lifetime. But...there is hope. You don't have to live in fear forever.



I am a domestic violence survivor now advocate and community trainer. I have a website with a wealth of resources for you. Please go to the website's "resources" tab. www.signalonministries.org



My ex-husband is a porn and sexual addict. Because of this, I spent my marriage being sexually abused and raped. If I had stayed, he would have started doing the same things to my son that he was doing to me. That is the nature of the addiction...it always progresses, never regresses (without intense therapy). My ex eventually admitted to molesting at least 5 children. This would be the #1 reason to separate yourself from your husband. (My website also has information about porn addiction and abuse.) If you think about it: do you want your child to grow up to be like your husband, to be abused himself or to think that abuse is normal?



If you do decide to leave, PLEASE see the "Safety Plan" on my website BEFORE you do so!



Abuse does not get better, no matter how hard you try to fix things...because the abuse isn't really about you; it's about your husband having control. There is a pattern to abuse...more information on this on my website.



A note on therapy: an abuser and victim should NEVER go to therapy together. It becomes a vehicle for further abuse. There is no amount of praying harder, having more faith or loving your husband more that will make him change!



Please feel free to message me if you have any questions. I'm here if you need me.



- m

www.signalonministries.org

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8 Comments

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Martha - posted on 03/15/2014

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how do i deal with a husband that was sexually abused as a child by his sister open up and was is the best thingto do to try and understand why he does certain things that hurt me

Martha - posted on 03/15/2014

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my husband was sexually abused as a child by his sister, he likes to spend alot of time in front of the tv and watch girls it bothers me alot and what would help both of us its hurting me that he does that

Maria - posted on 07/11/2013

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you can not change an abuser, he need to find help. The best thing is to leave from the abuser.. If you stay you know you are accepting the abuse.

(Rev.) Marissa - posted on 11/11/2012

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Not Telling - So much for "if you can't say something nice, don't open your mouth!" How rude and disrespectful can you possibly be?!



It's obvious that you have not had experience with sexual abuse. This woman is reaching out for appropriately helpful suggestions...not judgmental comments from a lack of understanding. And so, because of your ignorance on the subject, it would probably be better for you not to even comment here.



Living with an abuser, especially one who takes advantage of you sexually is a kind of horrid prison that no one but a survivor/victim can comprehend...it eats away at your very soul and, yes, robs you of whatever sense of self-worth and self-esteem you may have had.



I respectfully suggest that, before you judge, you take a step back and try putting yourself in this woman's shoes. Then, thoughtfully decline to put your foot in your mouth and chew vigorously!

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