Today, I want to finally come out to talk about my experience with sexual abuse during my marriage. It’s heavy topic that I never thought that I would share, but I feel comfortable to finally come out and talk about it.
Recently, Mr. Weinstein appeared unmoved as the verdict was read. “But I’m innocent,” the producer repeated three times to his lawyers.“Eight women who have changed the course of history in the fight against sexual violence,” the judge said. “These are eight women who pulled our justice system into the 21st century by declaring that rape is rape and sexual assault is sexual assault, no matter what.”
What brave women these women are , not only these eight women but every woman who has the courage to stand up and say enough is enough.
I haven’t heard many stories about sexual abuse and rape at the hands of a husband. I can understand why. Sexual abuse is one of the most humiliating, degrading experiences a woman can face, and when it’s at the hands of your husband, the man you have entrusted, it’s devastating. There are so many types of abuse, but sexual abuse is so very difficult because it takes so much from you mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually, all at once. Women suffer this abuse in silence and I have as well, but today I want to come out about my story.
I feel so compelled to share this part of my journey to free myself from feeling guilt and shame to go on a journey of freedom and happiness. When a marriage breaks down and you have come to the realization your marriage is no longer salvageable, things can go a few ways. Mine was the way you would never want it to be. When I finally had the courage to say we must divorce, I’m not in love with you any more, things went from bad to worse. I felt I wasn’t even a human. The beautiful line in Selena Gomez’s song, “I needed to loose you to love me.” Could not be more true in my case.
To be honest, I tried to keep peace and for a while continued to have sex during my marriage because I just didn’t want to argue. I would try to pretend I was sleeping sometimes in hopes to not be bothered, but sometimes it didn’t work. He would get angry and hit my pillow or our headboard in frustration, or yell at me “ how could I walk away from this”. I think the lowest of the low for me was when I offered him oral sex, instead of my body. I felt it was a way to separate my self a little more from having to look at him.
He asked me “do you think I’m raping you?” My answers was “yes”, he laughed. “You are obligated to have sex with me, you are still my wife.” That was his response.
With that response also brought guilt to me, guilted to be raped, even if I was still married. During this time, my ex wasn’t coming home some nights. I had a gut feeling he was seeing other women, but when he came home and wanted me, I had no choice but to give him what he wanted.
Now that I’m no longer in this horrible situation and have grown so much, learned to have boundaries. I’m writing all this because I feel it’s time to let others know they are not alone if they are going through a similar situation. It isn’t easy to leave this type of situation, but it’s not impossible. Reach out to a friend, a family member or a crisis hotline. You will, at least, get the information and support you will need to leave. Once I had had enough I left, I knew I would never return. Nothing was easy, but I was glad when was finally over. Once I shared my heartache with my friend for the first time, I was so relieved, it was like the dark clouds were parting, there was light again.
I’ve worked really hard on myself and having some self respect, boundaries, learning the red flags of an unhealthy relationship and getting myself to a mentally healthy place.
I believe I am today who I am because of my past experiences. I have patience, and understanding. I can help others who are experiencing what I’ve lived through. I never want another woman to feel she has no one to talk to or to understand what she is going through.
We have the ability to heal and learn to keep growing, which is not something I thought I had inside of me. Years of abuse have led me to believe otherwise, but I know now that that’s not true. We also have the ability to love again and know there is good in this world. Some things will never be forgotten, you will be triggered. But you will be able to get through those tough times. Time does heal, it does not erase, but scars lesson over time.
There are strong women out there who are definitely willing and want to help. Together we can change the way sexual abuse is handled.
Here is an organization that’s helped me a lot. If you are in a similar situation please reach out to me or this organization. There’s help and you are not alone – https://www.laurashouse.org/