Aohrodite Wounded - Support for Women sexually assaulted by male partners and educational resources for professionals
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SURVIVORS SHARE ACCOUNTS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND RAPE IN MARRIAGE

Survivor's Name:

Karen

Survivor's Story: I met my now ex-husband when we were around 20. For years, everything was typical. Our libido's were pretty much a match, and we had what seemed to be a healthy relationship. After dating and living with each other for several years, we got married. Then, things changed.

Shortly after we married, I became pregnant with our son. With the pregnancy came morning sickness, fatigue, and just generally feeling not in the "mood". I tried to explain to him that it wasn't him. I just couldn't get in the mood while feeling like I had to throw up. Still, he treated it as though I was trying to punish him. And since I was punishing him in his mind, he felt it was okay to punish me back. He started staying out late at night. Stopped picking up his cell phone when I called, lying to me... Everything pointed to an affair, yet I couldn't bear the thought of leaving him and having a baby on my own, so I stuck around.

Eventually, I guess he got sick of having sex with other women, and started getting manipulative and forceful with me. First, he started giving me guilt trips over it. Saying that I didn't love him anymore, and if I did, I'd show it. It worked for a while. I'd force myself to lie there as he did what he felt he needed to do. Finally, I got sick of it, and started telling him no again. He'd start disappearing again, but I found that I was thankful for the nights I was left alone. I thought of leaving, but convinced myself things will change once my son was born.

After my son was born, things did change. They got worse. When my son was born, I tore a great deal. I was afraid to go to the bathroom, let alone engage in sexual activity. Even after the 6 weeks, things still didn't feel quite right down there, and with the stress of a new baby, I really just didn't want to. Once again, he started with the guilt. When that didn't work, he used threats like "If I don't get it here, I'll look somewhere else". That never worked, only got me more angry as I knew he'd done that already. Finally, he threatened to leave, take my son with him, file false complaints to CPS to do it... I caved. I cried each and every time, but he always made light of it. Said I was making too big a deal of it. That as my husband, this was his right. Even tried to tell me that it wasn't healthy for me not to want to have sex with him, and that there must have been something wrong with me. He'd grope me in public places, and when I told him to get his hands off me, he'd throw our past sex life in my face. It was all my fault. It wasn't rape because I used to like having sex with him. If I'd just force myself to like it again, everything would be okay. By then I couldn't even pretend to like it. The sight of him made me sick, and I finally left.

I wish I could say that's the end of the story, but it isn't. After I left, he still thought all of our marital problems were centered around lack of sex. He'd come to my apartment with lingerie as a gift, saying I just needed to get into that mindset and we'd be happy again. After too many slams of my door in his face, he started holding back much needed child support money. He'd literally hold the money in his hand and demand kisses. Then, he'd be hurt that I refused. I eventually brought him to family court to have his wages garnished.

I see now that everything in a relationship centers around sex for him. That without it, he's able to justify everything in his mind, even neglecting his child (he's told me that that I spend too much time with our son, and that if I only ignored him more, I'd have the energy to have sex with him). It never crossed his mind that I refused sex largely BECAUSE of his mistreatment of myself and his son. The more demanding he got, the more disgusted I got. Even today, I still get an occasional email from him, stating that I was selfish for not giving in more, and that we'd have a great life if only I'd let him have sex with me whenever he wanted. He's even asked if I masturbate anymore, because he believes it's concerning if I don't. I never reply.
Submitted November 20 , 2010 8 : 12 am

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