On Marrying a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Christians like to tell young children and teens if they just wait until they get married to have sex, that the sex will be “mind blowing.” Yes, the terminology of choice is usually “mind blowing.”
The problem is, this is not always true – from situations where one partner who has a low libido, to another who has physical health problems, sometimes sex in marriage is terrible or not very frequent.
Then there are spouses who were sexually abused as children, and this impacts their sexual lives later, after they marry.
You can remain a virgin your entire life and God will never send you a spouse (another false promise by Christians is that marriage is a reward; stay a good girl, and God will send you Prince Charming), or, you can remain a virgin your entire life, marry, but the sex either does not happen, or it’s awful. Here’s another example.
- Dealing with misinformation, feeling powerless, and slowly getting better together
by SHONNA MILLIKEN HUMPHREY
- I thought the article would validate my husband’s experience. That’s why I emailed him the link to the decade-old New York magazine article about his alma mater, the American Boychoir School for vocal prodigies, where alumni from as late as the 1990s estimate that one in five boys were molested. Boys like Travis.
- “It used to feel like an isolated incident that affected just me,” Trav said.
- It was the end of my workday on an October afternoon; I had just set my keys on the kitchen table. My coat was still buttoned.
- “Now I know I spent nearly three years of my childhood at a boarding school not just with random pedophiles, but in a culture that allowed it.”
- … Mostly, I listen. I listen, and I do not laugh when my husband needs to secure the perimeter of our home each night. He keeps a machete by the nightstand. A long pillow divides our bed.
- Trav believes his story is too familiar to be interesting. “I’m just another kid who got molested.” This breaks my heart to hear, but he’s not wrong about his story not being unique: The generally accepted estimate is that one in six men are sexually abused as children.
- When high profile cases dominate the news, I feel for the victims, but I also scan for images of their partners and wonder how they deal with it. I want to ask what’s inside their medicine cabinets and if their husbands sometimes wince when touched, too.
- I want my husband to sleep at night, and if it takes a machete in the bedroom, I’ve learned not to mind.
- … Misinformation is the worst. Child sex abuse victims are not destined for deviance, but despite its repeated discrediting, a “cycle of abuse” myth persists. Put in the simplest terms by Houston’s Children’s Assessment Center, 500,000 babies born in the United States this year will likely be sexually abused before they turn 18. The vast majority of these victims will not grow up to be sex offenders.
- … Partners like me have very few resources. There’s no recourse, no opportunity for revenge, or even forgiveness. My challenges are loneliness, impotence, and the urge to do something, somehow to make it right.
- … Trav tells me I’m the most beautiful, smart, sexy woman he’s ever met, and I know he believes it. Still, sometimes my husband cannot summon a desire to touch me in a way that doesn’t feel obligatory and rote. I’d be lying if I said I never wanted things to be different.
- I swallowed urges to find myself a small apartment, to have a discreet affair, or to book a hotel room for just one good night of my own sleep. On his bad days, I dreaded opening the front door because I was never sure what I’d find. His secrets were now mine to keep, and the weight was heavy.
Related posts this blog
(Link): Rebound Guy and No Sex