Posted by: Rick | 2009/02/05

Can sexual molesting affect a marriage?

Hi CS,

My marriage was hell, sexually, from day one my ex wife just hated sex, she tried where she could but she just could not get ' into it' . We were fine for 2 years while we dated. But as that wedding ring went on, she switched off, for 7 years. We went to a sex therapyst for a course of treatment, she had hormone tests, tried most things. But nothing worked.

I know she was sexually molested as a child cause she told me so while we were going for pre marriage councelling. Then her dad committed suicide 4 years ago, and then she just totally dried up physically, emotionally and obviously sexually as well.

My question is could this have been one of the causes for her to hate herself (she is a beautiful women) when she looks in the mirror, hate what she has become in life (quite successfull), and totally pull away from me ( i was a good husband), which ultimately led to our recent divorce. Can these issues in her life have compounded ' normal'  marriage quibbles, to huge and massive marriage problems that she could not see a way around. She initiated our divorce, I wanted to try and save us.


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Our expert says:
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Of course it can. Not inevitably, but commonly. I wonder what sort of "sex therapist" she saw, as there are no recognized specialist qualifications in sex therapy, and one usually does better top see a more generally skilled psychiatrist or psychologist competent in but also beyond, sex therapy, and able to look for and deal with issues such as abuse, as well. Regarding her sexual abuse --- do you know ehther her dad was the abuser ? If so, that would have added to the conflicting emotions in her reaction to his death. People mwho have been abused often to come to blame and dislike themselves, and sex, IT would be so adviseable for her to see a good general psychiatrist or psychologist ( again, NOT someone who specializes too exclusively in problems of sexual abuse ) to work through all this, for herself. She may reconsier your relationship later if she can work through this --- she probably rejected marriage itself, rather than you.

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Posted by: Rick | 2009/02/05

Thanks to you guys and CS for your valuble input, it makes so much sense now. I told my parents about my wifes abuse,and the first thing my dad asked was could it have been her father? Well, if it was I would not have been suprised, he was very weird, and then the suicide.

Thanks again


Reply to Rick
Posted by: I agree | 2009/02/05

Wow " Real Sympathy"  and " Sexually Abused"  have provided some real meaningful insights on a problem that is becoming more prevalent day by day. Firstly I really admire " Sexually Abused"  for the effort she made and the courage she displayed. She must have dug deep to make those admission and also to her husband. A pity your ex could not do the same. She will carry that burden until she acknowledges it, whatever it might be.
" Real Sympathy"  makes some excellent observations. Don' t knock yourself out over it, not your doing and now not your problem. Good luck and hope you can sort yourself out, you sound like a good guy.

Reply to I agree
Posted by: Real Sympathy | 2009/02/05

You have all my sympathy pal. I was just thinking on the same lines as the Doc. Was it not perhaps her father who was the guilty one ? I guess if it was she would not have admitted that to you and I think that was the cause of your problems. It was made worse when he killed himself, because now the chance for her to ever tell him what a bastard he was, assuming it was him, is now lost forever. How would you have felt towards him if you knew he was the culprit ? That would have been a family relationship " destroyer"  for sure !! Clearly the counselling she received never worked as she probably never made that final admission. I don' t think it was anything you did to switch her off and I don' t reckon there was anything you could have done to change things. It sounds harsh, but you are probably far better off in the long run getting divorced. " Sexually Abused"  is a girl with guts and well done to her. She faced her demons and got over it, some can and some just don' t have it in them. Well done girl !! Trust yourself. There are a lot of great girls out there, don' t beat yourself up over a lost cause. Again the Doc is spot on as usual, she rejected the idea of marriage and committment, not you. Take heart, just get out there and get on with your life. Don' t try to puzzle it out, console yourself that you were blameless. Good luck pal !!

Reply to Real Sympathy
Posted by: Sexually abused | 2009/02/05

Hi Rick

I was sexually abused as a child. Since the age of 5, my Godfather molested me untill I was about 12. There was a LOT of emotional abuse attached to it as well - with the threats about not telling on him and nobody believing me and labelling me as a fibbing sl*t etc.
I told him once I was 12 that I was going to reveal everything he did to me, and that he won' t get away with it because I' m not that soft scared little girl I was years ago. I told him that if he just as much as touched me, I' d make sure my father kills him, as I had proof of what he' s done to me. I never had proof, but made him believe I had some sort of proof.
It worked, and never happened again.
I am married, and 12 years later still have the most amazing marraige you can imagine with a wonderfully normal and balanced sex life.
It has not been a walk in the park, I started getting nightmares after the age of 18, panic attacks etc. But I have had a wonderfully supportive husband to help me through it all.
Look, I don' t think it' s the same in every situation, that everyone handles it the same way, but I think it is very possible for someone to continue with a normal, balanced marraige even after years of sexual abuse.
If I managed to, anyone can.
You are actually a LOT stronger than you think you are. I still amaze myself every day!

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