.Husband’s Past Is Affecting Present

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My husband was molested as a child.As a result over the 20 yrs we’ve been together our sex life has become nonexistent.He tells me this is a result of what happened to him.At first I tried everything to fix this.

He has seen four different therapist,but always discontinues therapy. I’ve refused to believe that he is a non sexual person and have accused him of infidelity many times.He insists he is faithful. Because of our two children I had become resigned to the hand fate had dealt me.Until now.

I’ve discovered he has a secret life totally separate from ours.First I tracked his text record to a 19 yr old girl/lingere model who he’d been texting for hours a day for over three months.I then hired a PI and discovered his secret life as a model photographer of young beautiful models ages 18 and up.He also takes pics of them naked.

Because of his past sexual abuse I believe his sexual views to be distorted.I believe he is sexually attracted to very young females and males and therefore not me.I also believe that although he keeps the photography at legal age, that he is more then possibly attracted to children who are younger.I feel like half of my life I’ve been nothing but his front so to speak ,for his perverted activities.I’m lost,please advise,I know that I must leave in order to give myself a chance at having a healthy happy life,that is clear.My struggle is with the information about him,if he is acting out inappropriately with anyone under 18. It must stop.I do not have evidence of that however, it is with the knowledge of facts that I do have about him along with my 20 yr personal relationship with him that my gut leads my mind to that conclusion.What should I do?

A: I’m so, so sorry. This discovery must be devastating for you. You’re probably right that there is a connection of some kind between his past and his activities. Sometimes people who have been abused conclude that there are only two roles in the world: victim or abuser. Not wanting to be victimized any more, they take the other role. It’s a shame that your husband didn’t stick with therapy long enough to learn that there are other alternatives.

As sneaky and inappropriate as his behavior has been, he does seem to have some control over his impulses. He apparently has confined his activities to people over 18. That takes some self-control. He is apparently self-aware enough to understand that there are legal consequences to crossing the line of age of consent.

As painful as this may be, I think you need to ask your children if he has ever touched them inappropriately, just to be sure that he hasn’t reenacted his own abuse in the family. It isn’t necessarily the case but for your children’s sake, it’s important to check it out.

If you think he could be victimizing younger people, I suppose you could tell him of your suspicions to see how he reacts. Do be sure to have such a conversation in a place where you feel safe. Unless you have more than your gut feeling to go on, there probably isn’t anything else you can do about his psychological health or his behavior.

Instead, focus on making a good life for yourself and your children. You now have the opportunity to find someone who can give you the love, affection, and sexual connection you’ve longed for for many, many years.

I wish you well,
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Feb 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). .Husband’s Past Is Affecting Present. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/02/02/husbands-past-is-affecting-present/