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Alternative to Counseling

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Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:51 pm    Post subject: Alternative to Counseling

I am the spouse of an abuse survivor; he suffered many years of physical and mental abuse from his mother. The physical wounds have healed but the emotional ones have most certainly not.

In the past 6 years, my grandfather, my father, his grandmother (maternal), his father, his mother and his sister died (two were suicides). Our oldest son has also gone into final stage kidney failure; needless to say he has not really had an opportunity to work on his own emotional well-being.

I was hoping now that his mother and grandmother (they were the main abusers) have passed, that he would finally find some peace and be able to start dealing with the past, but it has actually gotten worse. He turned to another female friend for emotional support, which became her interfering in our marriage, not supporting his mental health.

We have decided that 20 years of marriage and three kids is worth fighting for, but I am starting to feel that even though I won the battle I lost the war. 'She' is out of the picture, but now my husband seems bent on self destruction, his depression has gotten worse and he talks about hurting himself all of the time. He refuses to go to a therapist of any kind because his sister was forced to go to one and shortly after starting therapy she killed herself.

I am at a loss for what to do; I tell him every day how much I love him, how what happened was not and is not his fault. He is a good father and husband; nobody is perfect and I don't expect him to be either. It doesn't seem to make any difference. No matter what I do it isn't good enough. He is in a job with a rotten boss and terrible hours so he can't spend time with our boys, especially the oldest one. I have been helping him for months submit job applications and search for a way to get him out of that situation, but he finds something wrong with any suggestion that I give him. Then he just gets angrier and angrier.

Have I done the wrong thing? Should I have left him with his female support person and taken the kids with me so he could heal? It really upsets me that he keeps getting angry when I try to help; am I approaching this wrong? I am just at a loss right now and I don't want to loose my husband. If anyone has been in a similar situation, abuse survivor or spouse of one, I would really like to hear any suggestions you may have.

You are all such strong, beautiful people, inside and out and I hope that you realize that.
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Site Admin

Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 489

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:36 pm    Post subject:

jktrav, it's so hard to be married to an abuse survivor. Unfortunately, as you've experienced, the death of an abuser doesn't give much resolution.

Please do remember that your emotional/mental health is also important. It's wonderful that you're so willing to support your spouse in this healing journey. One the important things to do is modelling good self care. I can be easy to sacrifice your own well-being to try to help someone else; I hope you're able to avoid that trap.

The only person you can fully control is yourself. I hope your spouse can learn to accept your support as he works through his hurts.
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Bob brooks

Joined: 30 Nov 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: adult survivor. mother the perp

When I read your post I hear what you are attempting to do for your husband but don't hear what he is doing about his issues. I used to look to my X wife for answers and when she couldn't give them to me I got angry and frustrated. Many years later my problems are still mine and mine alone. It is me that must do the work to both understand my abuse; forgive the abusers and get well.
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