Question about previous abusive relationship

How does past rape, molesting, or other sexual abuse effect future marriage?
pmedicchris
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Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby pmedicchris » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:37 pm

My question is how much detail about an abusive relationship do I need to share, if any, with my fh?

I'm asking because recently we went to this training together on Domestic Violence and Sexual abuse. That brought up a couple things for me. He knows about my abortions and my sexual abuse when I was a kid. But I haven't told him hardly anything about this one boyfriend....except that that night after the training we went out for dinner. While waiting for our food, I mentioned that my relationship with Jason wasn't a good one. My fh asked if Jason had been abusive, to which I said yes, some. FH looked at me with compassion, held my hand, and told me I was worth so much more than that. And I know that, now.

The thing that bothers me I guess bothers me mostly because of the shame it brings. Jason made me do things....all I'm gonna say cuz I don't want to offend anybody and cuz I don't feel like telling details. But do I need to share that with my FH, or just discuss it with God and give it back to Him? or whatever? Just that thinking about what happened makes me feel dirty and used.

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby Prairie Wolf » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:15 pm

Do whatever you need to do.

I don't think a future spouse needs to know specifics. You should not represent yourself as a virgin when you are not. He knows and accepts this already.

On the other hand he sounds like somebody who can help you heal. If not, tell a pastor or counselor.

There isn't a right answer, other than do whatever will help you.

catruss11

Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby catruss11 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:38 am

I'm wondering if talking to a pastor or counselor would help you?

I've been in therapy for the past six months for abuse that happened in my childhood and again as a teen. Having someone to work through it with has been so helpful. It can also help you get perspective on feeling dirty and abused. (Both are normal consequences of abuse)

Spend some time praying about it. Read the Bible, there is so much encouragement and hope there.

Personally, I think you should talk to your FH. Abuse has very real, very lasting effects, which could potentially affect your marriage. I think he has a right and an obligation to know so that he can best serve you as a husband. My FH has been amazing, reading books on the topic, talking with me whenever I need to (and not pushing when I don't feel like talking), and working his hardest to help me through this struggle.

Any man who wants to be your husband should be willing to do the work (for better or for worse, etc...) and to hold your hand through your healing. Also, it may one day creep up in your marriage (particularly your marriage bed) in ways that you can't quite see yet. I think it would help you both in the long run.

God Bless,
Cat

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby mepreacherswife » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:36 pm

As someone that has been in a abusive relationship in the past, I can tell you that the truth always comes out. I have been with my DH for 17 years. I was 16 when we met...32 now. I held things in and did not tell him the truth about my life before him (only bits and pieces), because #1 I thought it was my business and anything prior to him was none of his business. #2, because I didn't want to be judged.
Many years later I learned that the things I was holding in was hurting our life togehter because they were affecting me so badly. Sin will eat away at you and I had a problem not feeling shame after sex. After several tearful conversations, all the truth was told. The bible tells us that the truth will set us free. I know in my case, the truth set me free. It was so hard to actually tell him, but I have found total freedom from hiding.
I will say this. My DH has told me several times that he is so thankful that I told him everything, because he now understands certain things about me and also knows now that I have boundaries because of the abuse, and if they are crossed I deeply hurt. How can he help you, if he doesn't know everything.

I do know people that are victims of abuse that have never shared their hurt with their spouse. However the truth comes out in their emotions or physical responses. The choice is always up to you..pray about it and seek Gods guidance.

catruss11

Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby catruss11 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:27 pm

[quote="mepreacherswife"]However the truth comes out in their emotions or physical responses. [quote]

How true. Well put.

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby mepreacherswife » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:11 pm

catruss11 wrote:Any man who wants to be your husband should be willing to do the work (for better or for worse, etc...) and to hold your hand through your healing. Also, it may one day creep up in your marriage (particularly your marriage bed) in ways that you can't quite see yet. I think it would help you both in the long run.

C



I didn't read this post before. This quote is right on. I think it would be safe to say that it has already crept in your marriage bed and you havn't even realized it yet. I didn't even realize all the things that I took into my bed. Until the sin that was done to me and the sin that I participated in was exposed...it was only then that I could see what was happening with me.

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby LovesGG » Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:46 pm

Amen to catruss and mepreacherswife. It will be a big part of the healing.

Please remember how precious you are to the Lord Jesus, and that He is working out His plan for your full healing and freedom from all that was done AGAINST you. I am praying that the Lord will help you know just how precious you are to Him. That is so important for all of us!

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby robin » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:01 am

How about inviting him to ask questions about it if he has them? He knows the relationship was abusive, he should be warned there might be possible triggers that he will need to avoid and or help you work through and understand that sometimes it comes out of nowhere and you really can't help it.
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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby landschooner » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:07 am

In my humble opinion, you need to tell him. How much specifically, I dont know but enough to be fair to him. What happened to you.....anything I say would seem to trivialize it and I know I can't understand the depth of your pain. I'm sorry you were so mistreated.

You said:
Just that thinking about what happened makes me feel dirty and used.


Having read many testimonies from abused women, it seems possible to me, because many others have shared this, that you may also feel "dirty and used" in your marriage bed. Many have described certain sexual activities as triggers for those feelings despite the fact that they are occurring within the context of a loving marriage.

There are some things that most husbands will naturally expect to occur in their marriage bed. They won't have even considered that they wouldn't engage in X, Y, or Z. For you, you may simply expect to never engage in certain activities because of the feelings that they bring about or what they represent to you from your past, and a loving husband should understand.

I apologize if this is TMI, but a common example is Oral Sex. (This is just an example. I have no idea as to your feelings on this or anything.) The vast majority of men, not all, desire this from their wives. Its just the truth. If OS is a trigger for you, you might reflexively just take OS off the table of your marriage. Many women think this is a very small issue, "After all, real sex is intercourse, and he shouldn't care too much and he loves me and this makes me feel "dirty and used" so we wont do that!"

But it IS a big deal to many guys. A VERY big deal. "You mean, I'll never have Oral sex with my wife for the rest of my life?"

What happened to you was not your fault and was not your choice. Your choice was taken from you. You were violated horribly. But your FH deserves to be able to make an informed choice.

I know you guys can get through this. Many here have wonderful marriages/sex lives etc. But they had to work through it.

Blessings to you sister.

LS

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby pmedicchris » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:07 pm

Dang, I was hoping ya'll would say NO DON"T TELL HIM! HA! Keep dreaming! :P

I know that comparing my past relationships with my FH is like comparing oranges and lima beans. They are completely different. And part of me, while very nervous about our wedding night, is curious to see how sex can be a good thing. But when ya mention triggers...yeah....but one is BJ and the other one involves others involvment if you know what I mean. Cuz one previous knucklehead of a bf had his buddies over. Not saying anymore.

I think I can tell my FH that this one relationship was abusive and that it was mostly sexual abuse and yeah I've had sex, but its never been my choice and was never anything I enjoyed. But at the same time, tell him that I know sex with him will be enjoyable and I'm looking forward to it even though I'm nervous about the first time.

Would something like that work without telling him specifics of the abuse?

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Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby mamame » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:27 pm

I think that's an excellent place to start. Ask your FH how much detail he wants to know.

Talk to him about how you need to be treated at any given time. There were times when I just needed to cry and grieve, and there were times when the only thing I wanted was NOT to be treated like I was broken.

Promise him that you will always be open and honest with him.

Tell him how excited you are that you are going to face the enemy head on - together. Your FH will be the one who is holding your hand as God redeems this for you both.

I have a feeling you both may be important warriors in this battle. As you go forth and have a fulfilling marriage you will be invaluable to the people after you.

God doesn't just pay us back a little. He wants to RICHLY bless your marriage bed. Yay!

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby LovesGG » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:09 am

mamame wrote:I have a feeling you both may be important warriors in this battle. As you go forth and have a fulfilling marriage you will be invaluable to the people after you.

God doesn't just pay us back a little. He wants to RICHLY bless your marriage bed. Yay!


Amen, amen, amen, AMEN! We have a very generous God!

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby Yank » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:39 am

As a husband of a wife who was sexually abused I can tell you...or rather BEG you, to please, please tell him about it. You don't need to get into ALL the details right now, but he needs to know. He (and you) also needs to know that this WILL affect your sexual life as mates.

My wife didn't tell me for the first 23 years of our marriage. It was hell at times, let me tell you. Her reactions to plain old run-of-the-mill sexual stuff were, to say the least, bizarre! I tried all the things that are supposed to cause a wife to open up sexually to her husband...nothing worked.

I finally reached the point that I concluded (remember, this is WITHOUT me knowing the truth) that my wife found me repulsive. I had long ago begun to withdraw from my wife because of her attitudes towards me sexually. Without the correct information (the truth) I could not HELP her heal.

A LOT of severe damage was done to our marriage relationship as a result of her not sharing the truth with me. I am a HD male, with a primary love language of physical touch...the very things that my wife found to be "perversion" etc. I was accused of being a pervert, a sex addict (not true!!) among other things.

You may feel you are "past it"...but trust me on this...something down the road will trigger your feelings about the abuse and it will not be good for your marriage.

I know that my case is rather severe. But it CAN happen--and more often than you would like to think.

I know that it's painful for you to discuss with your FH, but you MUST do it...and the quicker the better. Also, he will need to get some tools to help him deal with things. I recommend at minimum he read the book "Haunted Marriage" for starters.

In all likelihood, at some point, you will need professional help with this. Not all do (I know of one who actually healed very nicely without--but she read material and actively engaged in healing exercises), but MOST do. It scars a person right down to the core of their soul.

The GOOD NEWS is that healing can be accomplished and you can actually come out stronger.

Through no fault of your own you probably have what I call a "broken template" for normal sex. It may spill over into other non-sexual relationships you have as well (it certainly does for my wife).

I'm so sorry that this was done to you in your innocence. By the way, you did NOT have sex...you were raped.

Willowy1

Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby Willowy1 » Fri May 18, 2012 10:50 am

It is important not to keep secrets from your FH, but thats not the same as telling him EVERYTHING.

if he asks, then tell him, otherwise this is a judgement call.

some people I know, I have to spell out every little detail of every incident for them to understand it, but my FH understands enough just from me saying "bad experiences in the past" about something, and if I told him all the details of every incident he would never be able to relax again in his life!

It does sound like he could be very helpful to your healing, and if you plan to have therapy, I think he will need to know, because therapy can impact your mood and if he doesnt know you had therapy this morning, he'll probably worry about why you are suddenly crying/shouting/or whatever.

Arogen

Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby Arogen » Fri May 18, 2012 1:57 pm

mamame wrote:I think that's an excellent place to start. Ask your FH how much detail he wants to know.


I don't think 'want to know' has much to do with it. I think the OP needs to know what her FH loves her, not in ignorance of her past. She need to know for a fact that he still loves and adores and cherishes and desires and respects and admires and honors her in the full light and knowledge of her personal history. THEN she can truly feel accepted and loved by him for who she is instead of holding something back and worrying that 'if he only knew about X he wouldn't love me as much' or some nonsense like that.

He also needs to know so he can have compassion for her struggles that she WILL have in the bedroom, so he can avoid provoking her triggers and be a full partner in the healing. He won't want to hear it any more than she will want to tell it, but it must be done. Perhaps not all at once, but it should all be out before the wedding, no nasty surprises or revelations after the wedding. Let him take his vows knowing everything and choosing to share her burden.

Arogen

Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby Arogen » Fri May 18, 2012 2:01 pm

pmedicchris wrote:My question is how much detail about an abusive relationship do I need to share, if any, with my fh?

I'm asking because recently we went to this training together on Domestic Violence and Sexual abuse. That brought up a couple things for me. He knows about my abortions and my sexual abuse when I was a kid. But I haven't told him hardly anything about this one boyfriend....except that that night after the training we went out for dinner. While waiting for our food, I mentioned that my relationship with Jason wasn't a good one. My fh asked if Jason had been abusive, to which I said yes, some. FH looked at me with compassion, held my hand, and told me I was worth so much more than that. And I know that, now.

The thing that bothers me I guess bothers me mostly because of the shame it brings. Jason made me do things....all I'm gonna say cuz I don't want to offend anybody and cuz I don't feel like telling details. But do I need to share that with my FH, or just discuss it with God and give it back to Him? or whatever? Just that thinking about what happened makes me feel dirty and used.


There was a woman not too long about who posed a similar question as yours, we all begged her to tell her husband. She didn't and went ahead with the wedding. Not long after that her husband wound up posting on here about the struggles they were having. I think you need to read that thread, but I don't have the link. Can somebody else find it? for the OP?

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby librarian » Fri May 18, 2012 8:08 pm

Arogen wrote:There was a woman not too long about who posed a similar question as yours, we all begged her to tell her husband. She didn't and went ahead with the wedding. Not long after that her husband wound up posting on here about the struggles they were having. I think you need to read that thread, but I don't have the link. Can somebody else find it? for the OP?


You're talking about SoonToBeThere46 and her husband, ConfusedNoob.

Her threads were:

Sex After Marriage

Newlywed Feeling Like I Made A Huge Mistake

and I Don't Know Where To Put This

Her husband, ConfuseNoob, came on after the wedding, wondering why his new marriage was an ungodly shambles. His threads were:

Confused

Progress

Crazy With Jealousy

She Didn't Got To the Counselor Today,

and How Do I Deal With This?
I was sleeping the other night, alone, thanks to the exterminator. - Emo Phillips

Arogen

Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby Arogen » Fri May 18, 2012 9:34 pm

librarian wrote:
Arogen wrote:There was a woman not too long about who posed a similar question as yours, we all begged her to tell her husband. She didn't and went ahead with the wedding. Not long after that her husband wound up posting on here about the struggles they were having. I think you need to read that thread, but I don't have the link. Can somebody else find it? for the OP?


You're talking about SoonToBeThere46 and her husband, ConfusedNoob.

Her threads were:

Sex After Marriage

Newlywed Feeling Like I Made A Huge Mistake

and I Don't Know Where To Put This

Her husband, ConfuseNoob, came on after the wedding, wondering why his new marriage was an ungodly shambles. His threads were:

Confused

Progress

Crazy With Jealousy

She Didn't Got To the Counselor Today,

and How Do I Deal With This?


Yes, thanks.

pmedicchris, please read them.

kath2play

Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby kath2play » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:37 pm

I think you should just keep that between you and God unless you think he really needs to know or you think it will make you feel better. You need to do what will make you happy. Some things are better left insaid

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Re: Question about previous abusive relationship

Postby robin » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:51 pm

kath2play wrote:I think you should just keep that between you and God unless you think he really needs to know or you think it will make you feel better. You need to do what will make you happy. Some things are better left insaid


I violently disagree. The fruit of this previous relationship will come to the surface, that's just how it goes. The guy deserves to know so he doesn't think that it's him, that she doesn't really love him, that he's worthless or incapable of meeting her needs.

It's a recipe for disaster. Marriage is important enough that it deserves more.
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