Navigating through Family Expectations during the Holidays

“The Holidays!” Hallmark movies and cards present the holidays with warm, nostalgic scripts and scenes. Songs of the holidays resound with jingles of joy. Decorated homes and cookies portray all things nice and beautiful. The center stage for the holiday festivities is the family gathering. But for victims of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), being with the family of origin—where the…

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Seasonal Triggers: Our Bodies Remember

A survivor’s memory of trauma can be triggered when any of their five physiological senses are stimulated by an environmental condition that occurred during their trauma decades earlier. If your wife is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, there are environmental conditions that can trigger her memory of the abuse. When this occurs, the trauma of her past once again invades her present. The seasonal changes of autumn can be powerful and plaguing triggers.

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How to Resolve Shame

Though every survivor of childhood sexual abuse has their own unique story, shame is a common long-term effect for all survivors. Shame is a disconnect from others and self that can be common to all but especially imposed upon survivors of sexual abuse and their spouses. It rises out of a sense that something is wrong with me. Responses to…

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Four Responses to Shame

Shame is a common experience among survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is a condition imposed on them as opposed to being initiated by them. The internal response of shame is not because of what they have done but because of what they have been led to believe about themselves. A survivor churns with self-condemning questions of: Was I not…

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Coping with COVID-19 in a Marriage Affected by Sexual Abuse

During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, many marriages are being challenged in new ways as “Stay at Home” orders are given to many states and localities. Constant togetherness is not always a good thing. Men and women in marriages affected by a spouse’s childhood sexual abuse can find it extra challenging in our new normal. These challenges include: Conflicted couples become more…

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God is Reshaping Me

When I interact with husbands whose wives are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I often speak of how God seeks to reshape us so that we can be free from the attitudes and behaviors that are destructive to us as husbands and detrimental to our marriage. I sometimes refer to this as personal development. God has been reshaping me. I…

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