heart-shaped lock open in the cupped palms of a husband and wife - MarriageHeat

Overcoming Struggles

Hello, everyone. I just want to give a fair warning that this post talks about sexual abuse, and so if that is something you are not comfortable with, I would advise that you not read this story. I was sure to be respectful of all parties involved, including you, the readers, when writing this.

This story is a lot more serious than the ones I have previously written, and in fact I was quite hesitant about sharing this when my husband mentioned it because I felt it would not be respectful to share it, even with my husband’s permission. But he told me that by sharing this, I may help other couples in a similar position, and other gents who went through similar things and need the encouragement. He was clear about what he felt was alright to share and what was not, so with everything from this point onwards, I made sure to consult him to be sure he felt comfortable.

When my husband was younger, he was routinely sexually abused and touched inappropriately by his piano teacher, who was never reported, fired, or underwent legal ramifications. Unfortunately, this person took advantage of the quiet, reserved young boy who one day would be my husband and hurt him in ways an adult should never do to a child, for nearly five years. My husband was not happy to inform me of this, but he did do so a few weeks after we got married.

On our honeymoon, I sensed a lot of hesitation as we made love, especially when he was taking off his clothing. I never wanted to make him feel uncomfortable; Lord knows, my hubby was so patient and loving with me at every step of the way, making sure I felt safe and loved. One day I felt that I wanted to tell him that he can always tell me if he is not comfortable any time we make love because a person should never do something sexual with their own spouse if their spouse does not consent to it.

It was at this point that he sat me down and explained what happened to him as a child, and why he was hesitant to have sex with me, even though his desire for me was high. I was astonished and devastated. I was a bit upset he did not tell me earlier, but he was firm in his belief that if he told me when we were courting or engaged, perhaps my view of him would change. Well, he is wrong in this matter. I do not see him as less but as more. I see him as someone who has risen above his pain with the power of faith and has grown up to become, in my eyes, the best man he could be.

He mentioned that he was quite ashamed of being a man, for even when he was touched without his consent, as a male his sexual organs responded in ways that would normally indicate arousal, especially as he got older and time passed. My husband was a quiet person as a child, so receiving any attention was new to him. He even said that he was happy that a pretty woman was so nice to him and that while no one at school wanted to be his friend, he felt at the time that any sort of positive attention was good. But he was a child, and children cannot consent to anything sexual whatsoever. It is not their fault that they are young and do not have that capability as we do as adults. The teacher should have never interacted with my husband in the ways she did.

As the years passed, she got more and more physical. He told me that although she performed no sexual acts upon him that involved her body, he was still touched and brought to certain physical levels of arousal, and he felt ashamed that it happened to him. As a young boy, especially before he learned about sex, he was confused and did not know what to think when he felt physical arousal. He was told by her that it was alright and that he should enjoy it. When he learned about sex and how it is a gift from God meant to be shared with love between a husband and wife, he felt that he betrayed his future spouse, me. I was sure to tell him that he never betrayed anyone. If anything, the teacher used her power as an adult to manipulate him and keep him from telling others what happened over the course of those years, going so far as insulting him for his uncontrolled arousal and blackmailing him when he was a bit older.

As it turns out, I was the first person he ever told, and now he wanted to share his story in a more anonymous way with you all to be able to show that you are not alone. I am incredibly humbled that he told me, and I promised to stand with him and never let him go.

My husband spiraled into depression and anger management troubles as he got older. Bullying and other factors only added to the tension, pushing him to the brink and even forcing him to ponder taking his own life. When he mentioned this, I cried and gave him the biggest hug I could. It takes a lot of strength to rise from that pain. Knowing the sort of man he is now, I am simply bewildered at the amount of strength that takes. Faith, hope, and sheer willpower got him through it all. Therapists were never quite helpful, and he hid his struggles from his family. He thought that, as a man, he had to face them alone. He did but at the cost of still having internal suffering and bottled up emotions.

Those five years made him believe that marriage, a marital relationship, and intimacy in marriage were not something he could ever do. He was worried it may lead him to hurt his wife, that his anger might result in him becoming a horrible husband and/or father, and that his past could even cause him to not be able to perform when physically intimate with his wife. Well, he is none of those things. He is the best husband a woman could ask for, a wondrous lover, and seeing as I am pregnant with our first child, he is taking care of me and our baby with such care and devotion that it brings me to tears. I am proud that he is the father of our child.

He still struggles with anger management and loneliness, so I try my best to always be patient, understanding, and loving in every instance. Over the past few months, I have learned to recognize when he feels angry and when he feels lonely so that I may support him on those days. I love him dearly, and I will admit that while writing this post, at times together with him, we spoke a lot about his experiences, and a lot of words of love were exchanged.

If you or your spouse were sexually abused in any way, know that:

  • A) it is 100% the sin of the abuser. That person should take every bit of that on their shoulders. You are a victim, and I pray that the love of Christ finds you and your heart and provides healing and strength. Never tell yourself that you are at fault because you are not. You are not any less “pure” because of it. You are still beautifully and wonderfully made.
  • B) You are loved, you are not alone, so please never hesitate to get the help you need, whether that be from law enforcement, legal authorities, a Christian therapist, or couples therapy. More importantly, share with your spouse if you are comfortable doing so.
  • C) Christ is with you; God loves you. I reiterate that to say that you should seek peace in God’s arms. He will always give you comfort, as He did for my husband.
  • D) If your spouse has gone through this pain, please support them, and remind them that your love is eternal and everlasting. Your love can do wonders, and showing that you are by their side can mean a lot to someone still healing from their past.
  • E) If you or a loved one need an immediate resource, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. You deserve any form of medical or mental health aid you need, as well as a good support structure.

Lastly, I would like to say some things to the gentlemen of MH who may have gone through similar things. You are not less of a man because of what that person did to you. You are strong, you are brave, you are loved by Christ, by your wife, and by your family. Please never forget that. You are amazing husbands and wonderful fathers. It is still difficult for a lot of men to get help regarding these issues and mental health, so I would encourage you to find what is comfortable for you as an individual when seeking any help that you may need. You are strong as men, but in the end, you are human. NEVER hesitate to seek out some support. You are all in my prayers 💖

I apologize if I triggered any negative thoughts or memories with this post. My husband wanted to share his story and help cultivate some faithful positivity in the MH community. It is amazing how much healing power there is in the love of Christ, and I encourage you all to accept that love with an open heart.

Sincerely,

SophTea

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19 replies
  1. AmBlessed says:

    Thank you and your husband for sharing. Community is exactly what we all need to heal and grow no matter what the particulars are of the broken sexual experiences and expectations we bring to our marriages. Happy Resurrection Day!

  2. DefiantArtist says:

    This may be one of the most beautiful things I have read here on MH. Praise God your husband has made it through that trial intact, and let me say that you as his wife are showing the most exemplary help and support for him, setting a wonderful example of true Christian love.

    • SophTea says:

      I will continue to do my best as his wife, for as long as I live, I love him dearly 💖 and always will.

  3. Peterpan says:

    To be honest I am so glad you wrote this . It took you quite some courage to do so, especially on a website like this. The reason why I am so glad is that, with Metoo it mostly involves women. But this happens also to boys, young and even older men. I am one those older where it happened too. With lots of help, understanding and love, like you do Sophtea, one can find some peace in it. It only takes time, time can heal wounds. I am proud of you Sophtea for mentioning this and bring this into the light, so it's no more hidden in the dark. For me, that was the time when the healing started. God bless your hubby and you as a loving couple!

    • SophTea says:

      Thank you, it is difficult in today's world for a man to be able to come out about these sorts of things, so glad he did because that way I can pray for him and love him in ways that can heal him. I feel blessed to be his wife, and I will be sure to try my best so that he feels blessed to come home to me!

  4. LovingMan says:

    Amen to you. Both my wife & I were sexually abused growing up. We both sought out good therapist and hung onto our faith in God to be able to overcome the effects of the abuse. It was also necessary for our own peace for us to forgive the perpetrators. It took time but we’ve been able to do so.
    What you said is spot on about the victim not being to blame.
    You are also correct in that the effects can be largely overcome. We have a vibrant sexual relationship in our marriage in part because for us therapy has been a very important part of our healing. 7 years ago, when we retired, we went back for more therapy and it helped us individually and improved our marriage. It is so important to find a therapist with good Christian values but also to find a sex-positive therapist. I dropped one therapist who thought sex wasn’t important in a marriage.

    Since we are both survivors of childhood sexual abuse we can and do have empathy for each other. Very occasionally one of us will be triggered and we are quick to tell our spouse about it so we have that comfort and support. So we agree that talking to a kind spouse can be hugely helpful!

    • SophTea says:

      I am so glad that you and your wife have risen out of the rubble of what happened to you, through the love and passion between you two 💖I have suggested therapy, but he feels that therapy is useless to him and I never want to force anything, although he is warming up to the idea of therapy where I am present and it's not just him and the therapist. I will try my best, I want to help but I also do not want to force something on him that he does not want to do.

  5. CrazyHappyLoved says:

    On this day when we celebrate the new life we have in Christ, what a blessing of hope this story is to those who need healing after abuse. I pray that every man or woman who struggles with the aftermath of sexual predation at any age finds the healing and unconditional love of Christ Jesus and the same from their spouse.

    • SophTea says:

      Thank you for your prayer, I pray that those men and women find healing in the infinite love of Christ and of their loved ones!

  6. King Arthur says:

    Good discussion. Thanks for sharing. #MeToo. I was an abused child and it led to pornography and now I'm in a SAA group trying to overcome it. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory. (1 Cor. 15:57)

    • SophTea says:

      I am so sorry you went through this 💗I will pray for the love of Christ to guide you to the right path, God bless you for taking the steps to heal yourself, He will guide you to a better day!

  7. Gemlin says:

    Thank you both for sharing this. Your husband for wanting to share his story, and you for writing. My wife was sexually and emotionally abused by her stepfather for close to ten years. It stripped her of so many things. It’s not fair. As a spouse, as I’m sure you can relate, watching them hurt is one of the most helpless feelings. You want to make everything better for them, and sometimes all you can do is let them know they aren’t to blame and tell them you love them. Some days that’s enough. Praying for you both, and thank you again.

    • SophTea says:

      I am extremely sorry for the abuse your wife went through, my most sincere prayers, hugs and love for her! It is difficult to see that pain in my husband, and he would rather walk on glass then let me stress over any of his struggles, but I have realized (as you said) that simply being present and willing to listen and love is a start, and I intent on doing that. God bless you for doing those things for your wife.

  8. Frankie says:

    SophTea – thanks for writing this. Sexual child abuse is far more common and emotionally damaging than commonly realized. As sad as your story is, I am encouraged by your husband having you as such a bright spot in his life to help heal the wound.

    • SophTea says:

      He has, is, and always will be my pillar to lean on, so I hope that I can be someone he is happy coming home to, and happy sharing his pains with. Thank you for reading and for your kind words ♥️

  9. SilverGold says:

    Thanks for sharing this with the MH community. Prayerful that this encourages someone who has endured the struggle of abuse to take positive steps that help them and their spouse.

    • SophTea says:

      Thank you for your prayers, I too pray that God lovingly guides all those who have suffered to His grace, and to the healing power of his love.

  10. SecondMarge says:

    Thank you for sharing. There is never an excuse to abuse another person. Having been in sexual abuse support groups, the accounts are painful to hear. Maybe even more from men as they seem less comfortable sharing especially if the abuser was also a male. The bodies physical reaction, erection and ejaculation, makes it tougher on them as it convinces them the pleasure made them complicit. Seeing the tears from strong adult men as they felt the embarrassment and guilt of not only admitting their pleasure but some pleasured their abuser. Not something they ever get over.
    From us as women, if penetrated the violation seems even more intimate. And if our bodies respond and we meet the abusers thrusts the guilt builds. This often results in very intense orgasms which are difficult an inability to justify our actions to ourselves or admit them to others.
    Complications also come when the abuser is a family member or close friend of our parents making telling anyone even more difficult. The light of day helps the abused overcome. Sharing with others prepared to help and accept. Losing the guilt over our bodies betraying us into sending pleasure signals to our brain might be the final acceptance that we share no blame.
    I strongly recommend seeking counseling. Your husband is so lucky you were so loving and understanding.

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