An Insightful Response to a Survivor’s Loss

Grant recently told me of a loss that his wife had experienced. The lost item had significant financial value. Grant’s wife, Callie, is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Grant and Callie, not their real names, have both given me permission to share this incident that offers insights into wives who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse. When Callie realized…

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Seasonal Triggers:  Our Bodies Remember

My calendar says it is Spring. The view outside my window says otherwise; I live in a northern state. But spring is coming. Many trauma survivors – including survivors of childhood sexual abuse – are aware that spring is coming because of their body’s response to the meteorological conditions that come with spring. Our bodies remember. When I was in…

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Childhood Sexual Abuse: How are you affected by the effects?

Childhood sexual abuse produces effects on the survivor and poses affects for the spouse, husband in my case, of the survivor. For students and writers, the difference between affect and effect is grammatically important. For husbands whose wives are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the difference between the two is relationally important. Bear with me for a really quick grammar…

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Childhood Sexual Abuse: How to Respond to the Distorted Perceptions of Survivors

Childhood sexual abuse inflicts and imprints a distorted lens through which the survivor interprets – or misinterprets – life. The distortion affects the survivor’s perception of life, God, men, themselves, sexuality, etc. It is difficult to identify an aspect of human life not affected by this imprint. That is not to say that all survivors have a distorted perception of…

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Why do husbands of childhood sexual abuse survivors feel shame and what can they do about it?

Caleb stood in the hallway and poked his head into the room, enough to see in but not enough to be easily seen. He was deciding whether to attend my breakout session at a men’s conference or the breakout session on pornography – how men are enticed into it and neurologically affected by it. My breakout session focused on helping…

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Here’s why your wife cannot “just get over” her childhood sexual abuse

Clark Barshinger, in Haunted Marriage, calls childhood sexual abuse “murder of the psyche.” The depth of psychological injury from childhood sexual abuse and the long-term existence of its manifestations surpass the effects of most other forms of trauma. The notion that survivors “just get over it” ignores the trauma of abuse and the intricately intertwined wiring of our personhood; emotional,…

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How should husbands respond to their wives’ dissociation?

Tina Zahn experienced dissociative moments common to many survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In her book, Why I Jumped, Tina described how her stepfather ordered her to their dark and dingy basement. She recalled how she hated her stepfather’s breathing, being held down by him, and the smells that emitted from him. As her stepfather went through his abusive ritual,…

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