Being married to a survivor of childhood sexual abuse

There are two sides to every coin

Good Evening! If you read my last post then you know I emotionally broke down over the weekend. What a crying mess I was. I spent all Sunday in bed, restoring my equilibrium. I am feeling so much better. It is not hard for survivors of sexual abuse to fall off-balance. Fortunately for me, time settles things and makes all the difference. As I go deeper into my issues there is less recovery time – which is a relief! 

My husband took the brunt of my rage but in truth I was triggered by seeing my brother who abused me, telling my step dad about the abuse and then re-telling Lynn in therapy. Only a person with trauma would know how bringing too much to the surface can put a survivor into a tail spin.

I regret how hard I was on my husband. Admittedly there are issues in my marriage, any marriage, really. What does it do to a guy whose wife wants to run away every time she feels slighted? Either physically run or mentally check out by drinking wine. Yes, he said some mean things but I didn’t tell you about how I told him, “Fuck off” and “You don’t control me.” When he didn’t want me to walk on the road at night it was because he cares. Our road is rural with no lights, no sidewalks and right now there is snow up to the edge. I was being stubborn and felt trapped and wanted to do something stupid like stumble down the road. He was angry that I was drunk. We were both at fault but I have to concede my part, that life with a survivor of sexual abuse is hard on the spouse. I can be unpredictable with intimacy and trust and half the time I don’t even know why I act the way I do.

I met my husband when we were in college and we’ve been married for 24 years. Although the relationship seems especially strained right now, most likely it’s because I am trying to grow, change and improve. There have been a lot of backslides during the past year. My emotions are up and down, left and right. My husband does try to get some control and it’s not always been that way. I have directed our relationship by pushing him away or needing him so desperately that it’s overwhelming for him. He has stuck by me through years of a tumultuous relationship. I give him credit and I recognize everyone has their limit. He hit his limit when I was drunk (again) on Saturday night. Even though I “only” drink on the weekends, I keep saying I’m going to stop. He’s tired of hearing my promises. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, I think he’s stuck in a tough position.

I’m still going to work on our relationship issues. I want to track when situations trigger anger. That is when I disassociate. I may find my husband is over-the-top with his criticisms and controlling ways but I must also see my part in our marriage dance. I’m a real bitch most of the time. I complain about everything. The house, the chores, his lack of help, the long list of things that need to be fixed, how I need help with the children’s busy schedules and that I hate to go food shopping and I wish I didn’t have to cook meals and clean up afterward. I am not the easiest person to live with. That’s the reality.

Yes, my husband is showing frustration and impatience. In some ways, I think it is his right. I’m not the warmest wife or happiest homemaker.

Thanks for reading this one. Journal/diary blogging has a way of being partial and imbalanced. I needed to try to show both sides of the coin. I know this side doesn’t make me look good. In order to make changes I must be rational and balanced.

♥ Daylily

4 responses to “Being married to a survivor of childhood sexual abuse

  1. With you, Daylily. You’re so very honest. And I love that about you. Thank you for honoring us with your journey. You have great courage and strength, even if you don’t always feel like it.

  2. Sounds like growing pains to me. And that’s good news!

  3. OMG, I used to look like the Happy Housewife all the time (more like a Stepford Wife) because I was dissociated all the time, living in a haze of my own making. off in some other place, never present. For a few years. I could have conversations, clean the house, do anything, with half a brain. The point for me was to feel nothing. I can no longer dissociate–at all. Eve n when I really need to do so. My therapist was not client-centered. He was goal-centered, and one of my goals was to stop dissociating. After CSA AND human trafficking? Yeah, it seemed like an impossible task, but we achieved it, and my brain is now locked down. I had a flashback a year ago, and I tried to dissociate. No can do. I was stuck in my own head dealing with it. I made it through, and the benefit of that was learning to trust myself. I think that this is what dissociation, in general, takes from us. We are robbed of our self-trust because dissociation steps in for us. It becomes maladaptive, and we often think we need it when don’t. It prevents us from growing into emotional maturity and keeps us from doing a true healing work. It’s one of the hardest healing works to be done for sure. But, I think that if a person struggles with it, then it must be addressed or one will never be able to achieve their potential because their limbic system will continually hijack their brain.

  4. Reblogged this on emotionaldrinking and commented:
    PAST MEETS PRESENT — This is from my old blog, written a little over a year ago before I stopped drinking. Funny (or not so much, really) that the issue with my husband is still an issue. Not much has changed in that department. The biggest difference is I’m not longer drinking. I talked about this with my therapist today and I’m thinking things over before I write a new post.
    Fern (formerly know as Daylily)

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