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Married to a woman that was battered
May 26, 2007
9:01 pm
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Mart
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Any advice for a man that married a woman who was battered by her husband. We have been
married almost two years and she does not communicate and is sexually responsive, but only if I iniate it. Also our house has no pictures on the wall and she ie reluctant to
put any up. I feel like I'm being punished.
Everything ia always 100% my fault.

May 26, 2007
10:01 pm
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lovinglife
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Mart~

I don't have any suggestions or advice at this moment but have to say that what you just described is one of my worst fears...marrying again and me having the issues of abuse from my previous marriage and the post divorce effecting what I someday dream of- being in a healthy loving relationship.

How long was your wife divorced before you two got married??

May 26, 2007
10:45 pm
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Mart
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about 12 years. she had four children
all of which are now grown. They little to do with their father.
It has been very trying to say the least. I dont know what to do.

May 26, 2007
10:49 pm
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Mart
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I was married before, my wife was killed in a car crash in 2003. I was left with a 8 yr old and 6yrold boys
The 6 yr old is severely handicapped.

May 26, 2007
10:54 pm
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Mart
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I didnt realize the complexity of the
situation. Love can be blind. She needs counseling, but she thinks nothing wrong from her past experience. I feel like with the proper help she could get over the past and learn to let go and be happy.

May 26, 2007
10:56 pm
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fantas
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Hi Matt...Have you sought counselling so as to understand how the abuse may have affected her trust in people and especially men. Does she go to counselling? Did you guys talk about this before you got married? Was she this way before you got married? In the end, you both will have to find a way to communicate. The no pictures on the walls is interesting. It's almost seems like a self preservation mechanism just in case the marriage doesn't last. Can you put some of yours and hers and see what she says? Good for you for coming in this site and posting. Keep doing it.

May 26, 2007
11:58 pm
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lovinglife
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Fantas~ I was thinking on the lines of the same thing regarding not putting pics up..."seems like a self preservation mechanism just in case the marriage doesn't last." Doesn't sound too good.

Mart~ Don't know what to say here...let me give it a try...

12 yrs seems to be enough time to have done some healing providing that she acknowledged that the past abuse caused her some deep emotional issues. Abuse really screws with the mind - as many here could attest to.

As I said above, one of my fears is that even though I've worked hard on, still working hard on, and just want everything in my head to go away so I can someday love and recieve love as I dream - it scares the hell out of me that my past abuse issues may always be apart of me and affect ANY deep relationships I'm in (esp 'being in love'- thinking of a long term relationship). See for myself some things are just ingrained in there and even though I am aware of my issues, aware of things then can make me 'check out' so to say- sometimes I can't stop it. Getting better I must say...and will get completely there if its the last thing I do while on this earth - be free from what was done to me BUT I also haven't had a chance to really test it out in a serious relationship, as well--- I think that just maybe being in a serious relationship it could trigger the old feelings even if there was no justification for the feelings. Don't know.

NOW if your dealing with someone who thinks they can be just be removed from an abusive sitz and not have any resulting "head issues"... can only speak from personal experience here - but gosh- you have hands tied. It could be a losing battle.

Wished I had more to say or could be of some help to help you gain a little understanding.

May 27, 2007
9:32 am
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Mart
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No I havn't seeked "formal" counseling yet. I have counseled with 2 church ministers and a church counselor who has formal training inPsychology. I wondered if the no
pictures on wall thing was a self
preservation thing or reluctance to really committ and make a home a home.
No I havn't put up any pictures, but I have thought about puttin up some
of Us and some of her family and mine.
Also I really want this to work, I dont feel divorce is the answer. On the other hand I cant stop her if she leaves. Shes says I have neglected her and she stays away a lot. Its like
she is fulfilling her own prophecy.
On the other hand I am not perfect and havn't always reacted the best, but I have never hit her or anything,
thats just not my nature. I'm not weak but I tend to avoid arguments.
But I want and desire open communication. She says she don't feel like Part of the family. Like a puppy not played with. The difference is puppies like to play and generally let you know it. HELP

May 27, 2007
11:11 am
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chelonia mydas
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Mart,

Thank you for trying to seek help for your family.

I agree that counseling would help. Just be sure to find someone you have a good gut feeling about. Not all counselors are the same- there are some excellent ones out there, and some that totally stink. You just need to find the right match for your situation.

It took me over 10 years to even acknowledge that I was abused. I worked alot- usually 2-3 jobs and volunteered in order to stay so busy that I didn't have to deal with it. When I dropped down to just one job and stopped volunteering, I started to remember.

That was 3 years ago. I am still working on this. I am getting a divorce because my husband just couldn't deal with all my problems. He wanted me to "fix" myself and when I couldn't do it and meet his needs on his schedule, he left. I asked my husband to give me time, compassion, understanding, space, and the ability to focus on myself. This included needing him to be my friend, but not necessarily my lover- which was the one of the main reasons he left.

I am a difficult person to be with during this time of rapid change, but having friends around me who care and will stand by me with compassion and honesty have been key in helping me get through this. Being on AAC is part of this support. I couldn't have done it alone.

I have grown more in the last year than I have in the previous 10, and I am a much different person today than I was May 27, 2006.

I hope that by sharing my experience, it will help give you insights to consider with your relationship. Everyone is different so it might not be what your wife might is facing.... just its something to consider as a possibility.

Thank you for helping her and standing by her and seeking help to help her. You are a wonderful person for doing this- regardless of the final outcome. As long as you are honest and try to do your best- that is all anyone can ever ask.

Just keep in mind that she needs to want to deal with it. It is a hard path to walk and if she doesn't want it yet, then she won't. But when she does decide to take that road, she will need people beside her to support and encourage her. Sometimes the best thing you can do is be a good role model for how to live a healthy life.

Try to provide a mentally/emotionally healthy environment for her. One thing that my soon to be ex did for me that really helped was to show me how to deal with anger. When we first met and I would rage, he would sometimes give me a bear hug and say something along the lines of I love you but I'm not going to accept this- you can calm down or I will go (shopping, play basketball, drive around for a bit etc). If he left, he would call back later to see if I was over it. He only came back when I was calm. Also when he would get angry, he would walk out of the room until he had calmed down. It showed me an alternative to dealing with anger that I had rarely seen before. After a few years, I caught on and stopped throwing things and screaming etc.

I hope things work out for both of you. Be sure to take care of yourself too.

Hugs,
Chelonia

May 28, 2007
2:37 pm
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Mart
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Thanks chelonia, If I can get her to acknowledge that she has a problem, its destrying her and this this marraige. She has commented several times she feels like something is going to happen to her. She is not overwieght, shes 52 yrs old. I feel like its her abusive past and that her former husband controls her, not actually but she hasn't let go of the past and maybe she can't. in essence he still controls her. I feel like being able to forgive(not necessarlly forget) is of great medicinal value for the soul. I don't pressure her sexually. She desires me she just don't send any signals and her body language suggests to stay away or thats how I read it. again thanks for the advice.

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