My wife confessed to being molested as a child and I am not sure how to respond
May 17, 2012 10:15 AM Subscribe
I've been married to my wife for a few years, but she confessed to me recently that a neighbor molested her when she was a child. How can I respond to this in a helpful, supportive way?
posted by anonymous to human relations (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My wife is extremely adverse to seeking therapy for any reason, and says that she hardly ever thinks about what happened to her so she doesn't need therapy. This came up sort of out of the blue when I was asking her if we could both seek some therapy for our anger management issues before we have children.
I'm not sure what to make of what she told me. She says she has only ever told one other person. She said she didn't really want to talk about it, but that I could ask her questions. I don't want to dwell on a painful memory, but I also don't want to ignore this and try to shove it into the background like it never happened to her. Is there anything I can do as a caring partner? Anything I should know? It really upsets me to hear that this happened to her and I want to be supportive, but I'm really unsure as to how to respond. I'm not currently in therapy myself...if I was I'd be tempted to ask a therapist how to respond, but I'm almost certain my wife would view this as a betrayal of her trust, so I don't think that's an option for me. She is really, really adverse to therapy, so I think she would not react positively to yet more badgering about seeking therapy.
I have a hard time parsing that my wife thinks this has had almost no effect on her, but I also don't want to invalidate her experiences, whatever they may be.