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Chucke

Abused as a child

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I am in need of some advice.

Please bear with me:

My wife was sexually abused as a child around the age of 9. (26 years ago )Her mother had four children early on in life and her husband left her with the kids and never was in there life again. Her mother ended up getting married to a guy that had 4 of his own children. (his immediate brother went to prison for raping his own kids...) I don't want to go into details about the sexual abuse that the new dad was committing with my wife, but from what my wife tells me it did not include intercourse, it was more get naked and lay with me naked.... a lot of touching going on.... After around year he came to my wife and she was crying and she told him that she didn't like what he was doing. He told her he wouldn't do it again. He told his wife what had happened and he apparently went to the bishop..(has had several callings since.. scouts, primary etc..is this normal) No one in my wife’s family knows what had happened.

Fast forward to when me and my wife first met. She told me about what had happened and that she had forgave him. We had a pretty rocky relationship when we were dating and at one point her parents didn't want me around.. I confronted him at that time and he claimed that he had repented and everything is ok now. I also told my wife’s brother what had happened to my wife when she was younger. Her brother talked to my wife and my wife denied that anything had ever happened.

Fast forward to this last Christmas... we had a family Christmas party at their house and he starting getting very political and saying things like Obama is the anti-Christ and that the government was going to come to our houses and take all of our guns…etc. All of his children have listened to this there whole life. They feel very threatened of him... no one ever disagrees with him. It is sad to say that none of his kids talk to him they only go around for the mother. I had had enough and I engaged into his conversation and started proving him wrong... The room went silent... No one could belief that I had stood up to him and told him he was wrong.. Needless to say I haven’t spoke to her mom or dad since.

I am having a hard time with what had happened with my wife while she was younger now that my 4 girls are getting older. My oldest being 11. I told my wife that I was concerned that I didn’t want them to be around her parents. Her mom and dad live 2-1/2 hours away... we see them 2-3 times a year.... her mom just called and wanted to see if our oldest daughter and her cousin could come stay at their house for a week this summer. I told my wife there was no way I would let this happen. She told her mom that we didn't feel comfortable with that. The issue of being sexually abused came up in conversation with her mom and her mom stood up for her husband telling her that he was heavily medicated when he abused my wife and that he was sorry that he had done it 2 times with her and that he repented for it and was good to go... when my wife got off the phone with her mom.. I said wait a minute.. 2 times. and my wife said that is not what her mom meant.. I told her yes she meant it. So she called her mom the next day and said what do you mean 2 times it happened for years.. Her mom said "well if he did that it is not ok" “but he was sick and he warned me to keep you away from him” and left it at that.

Now her mom is coming out for the weekend and wants to see us and go to church with us like nothing has happened. My wife does not like her dad and wants to continue having a relationship with her mom. I feel that her mom is just as responsible for what had happened... Help me understand that my thinking of not wanting anything to do with her parents is normal. Help me know if it is fair to me that my wife’s other brothers and sister let their kids be around him alone not knowing of the things that he had done with my wife. My wife doesn't want her family torn apart and says that I am doing this because of the fight that I had with her dad during Christmas time. And maybe I am

Help!!!!!

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Hi Chucke,

About the only useful thing I can really say, is that your wife's experience (and your experience being married into this situation) is hardly unique. Stuff like this happens a lot.

I'm gonna recommend a non-LDS book to you and your wife. Miss America by Day: Lessons Learned from Ultimate Betrayals and Unconditional Love. Ten bucks used off of Amazon.

Other than that, I guess the only thing I can say here, is to advise against you trying to set the terms of your wife's relationship with her parents. Even if it's just urging your wife. It's her baggage, and her relatives. The decisions and changes need to come from her.

God bless. Read the book.

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I wish I had more time to respond. I'll just say this is similar to the experience with my first wife.

You are not supporting your wife by getting into it with this guy or her mother. The best thing you could possibly do is just listen and hold her. Comfort her when she needs it. You don't need to even agree with her, just be there and be a good listener.

Once you get into it with her mother or her step-father you are completely on your own and your wife is left on her own , by herself, with her pain, despairing. I did the same thing, following my instincts thinking I was protecting her, playing the hero. I was not. This will undermine your marriage if you don’t change.

If you want to help your wife, let her make the decisions and make the steps in regards to her family. You just support and love her.

I would also consider marriage counseling and if the time is right gently encourage counseling for the abuse she suffered while young.

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I am going to address a point that hasn't been addressed yet.

I fully support your desire not to have your children spend time in the abuser's home without you being present. Especially as it appears both he and your wife's mother still have some denial about what he did.

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I feel as though there is a large difference between forgiveness, and giving someone a potentially wide open scenario to repeat their own mistakes. I've no problem with your wife's parents wanting to see their grandchildren, but history is what we learn from. I am in no way saying that it would definitively cause an issue to develop, but the potential is there, and personally it'd make me extremely uncomfortable as well.

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This is way too close to home for me so I'm probably not going to come across very kindly.

First, I would most definitely NOT let your children anywhere near your wife's father - especially not overnight.

Are you normal for thinking it's just as much her mother's fault for allowing it to go on for so long even after her husband 'warned' her to keep her young daughter away from him - heck yes. Why would she stay with him knowing that he was a proven threat to her child?

Are you normal for not wanting anything to do with your sick, abusive in-laws? Again - yes.

As for the family being 'torn apart' - it's already in that state if the family are all treading on eggshells around your father-in-law, too afraid to have an honest discussion with him, pretending everything is fine and trying to forget that he ever sexually abused a little girl. Is it normal to consider all of this sick and dysfunctional - yes.

I don't know if you've done much reading on children of abusers (and passive abusers like your mother-in-law who allow it to happen or make excuses for it), but it's also normal for a child, sometimes no matter how abused they have been, to cling to the only family they know. That may be what your wife is doing and all you can really do is support and love her in her decisions about the contact she keeps with her family. The only exception I'd make to that rule is when it comes to your own children being exposed to your father-in-law - and it sounds like your wife agrees with you on that issue.

Your reaction to this situation is very normal.

Maybe some couple's counseling will help you both to deal with her family situation?

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