Shadows of hand-holding

Some Reality About Loving a Survivor

Over the years, I’ve mentioned the need for spouses and partners of sexual abuse survivors to have other sources of support. I’ve seen the reality in a few different ways. My first marriage was to a woman who, like me, was also a sexual abuse survivor. I both was the survivor and the spouse. Given that marriage didn’t last, I guess you could say I know how hard all of that is.

Side note – that marriage ended because she was the spouse of someone who was emotionally and mentally sick and shouldn’t have been married to anyone then. In this context, I think she was the one feeling the pain I’m about to share.

I found this post on the subject both painful and real.

What It’s Really Like To Be The Spouse Of A Sex Abuse Victim

I appreciate the honesty Alex brings to the story. It isn’t easy to watch someone you love struggle. It is incredibly difficult not to feel guilty for struggling with the situation yourself. In his own words:

So, while my heart naturally goes out to victims of sexual abuse (and believe me when I admit to crying myself to sleep many nights just considering this shockingly common problem in our society), I just wanted to take one short moment in time to acknowledge other friends, family members, and especially partners/lovers of those who have been abused.

I, too, understand the pain you’re going through.

It’s nothing compared with their pain, but it’s crippling pain nonetheless.

It is true. As much as you might love your partner and want to support them, there are ripple effects that impact well beyond the individual survivor. Those ripple effects are painful, and we can acknowledge that pain without diminishing the pain of being the direct victim. All of it sucks, and all of it is the fault of the abuser.

There’s no one else to blame, just a lot of people left to struggle. Let’s do what we can to support all of them.

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