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Question
Posted by: Ally | 2011/01/06

Molest

Hi, I suspect that my husband has been sexually molested by his mother when he was a child. I''m not sure how to handle this? Do I talk to him about it - or leave it so that he can deal with it on his own. My instict tells me I''m right - but there''s this small part of me that hope I''m wrong. Thanking you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

How and why do you suspect this ? It can be extremely difficult to diagnose, even where the individual is asking for help and assessment. NEVER EVER rely on the "check lists" and other guides widely published by quacks claiming to be experts in this area- they are almost entirely rubbish, as there are no mystic signs which reveal any history of molestation in someone not already aware of it.
"Instinct" can be a very unreliable guide, and can lead to interference that is damaging to more than one person, and rarely helpful.
If your husband has clear current symptoms of ANY kind - that make him feel bad, then he should see a good local general psychiatrist or psychologist for a full assessment, and a discussion of posible diagnoses and forms of help. Do NOT start with any assumption that there has been earlier abuse or that there has not been. Some people are abused ( which is never justifiable, of course ) but survive with no significant problems in later life ; some do develop problems but these are actually unrelated to the history of abuse ; and some develop problems arising from the abuse. And some are convinced they were abused ( often from reading some of the blatantly misleading literature available ) when this actually did not happen. It is extremely rare, if it actually ever happens, for someone who has been significantly abused to not remember it, even if they chose, understandably, not to dwell on it or focus on it as there are other more fruitful aspects of life they enjoy attending to.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/01/06

How and why do you suspect this ? It can be extremely difficult to diagnose, even where the individual is asking for help and assessment. NEVER EVER rely on the "check lists" and other guides widely published by quacks claiming to be experts in this area- they are almost entirely rubbish, as there are no mystic signs which reveal any history of molestation in someone not already aware of it.
"Instinct" can be a very unreliable guide, and can lead to interference that is damaging to more than one person, and rarely helpful.
If your husband has clear current symptoms of ANY kind - that make him feel bad, then he should see a good local general psychiatrist or psychologist for a full assessment, and a discussion of posible diagnoses and forms of help. Do NOT start with any assumption that there has been earlier abuse or that there has not been. Some people are abused ( which is never justifiable, of course ) but survive with no significant problems in later life ; some do develop problems but these are actually unrelated to the history of abuse ; and some develop problems arising from the abuse. And some are convinced they were abused ( often from reading some of the blatantly misleading literature available ) when this actually did not happen. It is extremely rare, if it actually ever happens, for someone who has been significantly abused to not remember it, even if they chose, understandably, not to dwell on it or focus on it as there are other more fruitful aspects of life they enjoy attending to.

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