My wife was sexually abused as a child. If your wife is a victim or survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I am grateful for the opportunity to interact with you. We share an understanding and experience of the disruptive affects of childhood sexual abuse on marriage. I am convinced of the possibility that marriages affected by childhood sexual abuse can be reconstructed. I am therefore committed to helping husbands whose marriages have been affected by their wives’ childhood sexual abuse.
I have a three-fold perspective on marriages like yours and mine: (a) I am the husband of a victim, (b) I have interacted with other husbands in my doctoral research, and (c) I am a pastor who has served both healthy and hurting families. It is my passion to stand with husbands whose wives are victims of childhood sexual abuse as we explore healthy patterns for responding to our wives and reconstructing our marriages.
The blogs and resources found in this site are an invitation to explore, examine, and reconstruct our perceptions, assumptions, behaviors, and expectations. This “reconstruction” can relieve anxiety in husbands of survivors as new understanding is developed and can lead to positive connection with our wives who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
The brutally traumatic effects of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) rip and tear deeply into the souls of our wives. Though there is not a diagnostic list for CSA, the common effects include:
- Anxiety disorder
- Panic attacks
- Eating disorders
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep disorders
- Suicidal ideation
- Sexual dysfunction (promiscuity, aversion)
- Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
- Self-injurious behavior (SIB)
- Substance abuse
- Somatic disturbances (affects the body, immune system, etc.)
- Interpersonal problems
- Intrusive thoughts
The long-term and traumatic effects of CSA also have a trajectory that appears to extend its impact into a marriage relationship. The symptoms extend beyond the individual victim to the interpersonal relationships of the victim. The effects of CSA intrusively disrupt marriages through sexual dysfunction, social conflict, emotional distancing, and financial drain. The common challenges for husbands married to victims of childhood sexual abuse include:
- A sense of rejection from emotional distancing or your wife’s anger toward you as a man
- Frustration resulting from unpredictable behaviors and situations
- Emasculation resulting from dysfunctional sexual relationships
- Rage towards our wife’s perpetrator(s)
- Dealing with our wife’s eating disorder or other self-injurious behavior
- Fear over our wife’s suicidal tendencies
- Occasions of dissociation
- Marriage books and conferences that fall short in addressing our unique needs (How many of those books have you thrown against a wall?)
MarriageReconstructionMinistries.org offers help to men and women affected by a wife’s childhood sexual abuse through exploring healthy patterns for responding to each other and reconstructing our marriages.