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My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Jen123 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:54 am

I really think you should encourage your husband to go to therapy. To be honest if it is bad, he probably can't tell you about it. Or it may be nothing but he should talk to someone besides you about this. Good luck :)
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Ophellia » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:43 am

Soifra,
thankyou for all that information you provided related to this topic. It may be just the thing someone who suspects their child/ren are being abused or have been abused need to know.
The thing is about some of that stuff including what you said about the mother being especially resonsible is really counter productive. I know that my mother-in-law already blames herself for what happened to both her children. She thought she could trust her eldest son's friends around her children, he seemed so nice and included his mates little brother in games. Who wouldn't think that an older child who included their mates younger siblings was a lovely child?? She also thought she could trust her own children to look after each other. Like all children from my generation we used to disappear to the local parks or reserves and play with the other children. That was fine as long as we were back by 5pm (no adult supervision! how much more experiences did we have compared to this generation??)
She does this by absenting herself either emotionally or physically from her children by working outside of the home, pursuing outside interests and activities, or through illness, hospitalization, escaping into depression
Not one of these things applied to my mother-in-law as she was a stay at home mother for all of my sister-in-law's life right up to her final year at school, as I've said before she gave up completing her university degree in teaching to be a stay at home mum. She doesn't like going out anywhere nor has she ever. It's hard to take her out for dinner or go for family outings (so no outside interests or activities), she wasn't nor isn't ill, nor has she had depression. She has always welcomed hugs and kisses from her children, I witnessed the relationship my sister-in-law had with her parents since she was 12, she always calls Mum for advice with the kids or if she needs anything, and when she's been out of town they're incontact every night!
So if my mother-in-law read that post she would be absolutely gutted to think that others put most of the blame squarely on her.
Both of my parents-in-law do see, after I suggested, that perhaps what they did wrong was not discuss what happened to my husband when he was a child with him. Up until recently he thought they didn't know. They just swept it under a rug, what was done was done, the child had been removed from the family (they didn't even speak to his parents, bad move again) and that was it. What should have been done was they talk and even get a councellor to speak to him as well, this would have been a good step in preventing his continuing in sexuality at an early age (no guarantees though). They thought he would forget about it and continue as a normal little boy, unfortunately they were naiive. So in this aspect they do have some responsability in what he did to his sister.
As far as my sister-in-law is concerned, I don't want to pressure her, I just don't want bigotted people who are very controlling suggesting things that will not fix the problem. Persecuting will not solve or heal her pain, nor will it make her feel any better. If she wanted to do that she should have done it before others were involved, now she has two nieces she loves very much who will be hurt, they're already hurting as they can not see their Aunty, Uncle or cousins, all whom they love very much especially my 3 yr old as she has a close relationship with her 2 yr old cousin!
Next in this case our families are not taking sides, my in-laws want to support both children, it's hard for them to do so when my sister-in-law's in-laws are always monopolising her time. They even caused their youngest grandchild not to celebrate his 1st birthday because they'd taken my sister-in-law to a 4 day retreat.
Finally I don't believe she feels it is unhealthy for her or her family to be around mine as we have spent years socialising together without an issue (before you say that it's because she couldn't not socialise with us, she would have made many excuses not to see us, we wouldn't have been invited to family events at her in-laws and she wouldn't have agreed to babysit my 3 year old while I worked (we paid her)). I feel that she just needs some time, when I first posted I was afraid that my family would be broken apart. As it has been over a month since she first told her parents we have not heard anything about what she intends to do which makes me think that she just needs time and may be afraid of what might be said when we all finally sit down together to talk, my husband is very outspoken so it will be hard for him not to respond or say what ever comes into his head, but this will be a time when he has to listen to her. If after this conversation she can't bring herself to be a part of my family it will be her choice, I understand that. It would be a great shame though. And hey, if anything, she has a chance to be certain that I know everything, that he hasn't lightened what he did to her just to protect himself, she can also know that I am doing everything in my power to protect my children (I'm even planning to homeschool my children so they are under my supervision even more!)
I have a suspicion that you do not believe in God from what you've said previously but I'd still like to say to you :
May God bless you and your family
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby johnnywheels » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:51 am

my friend, when i read your story i had a very strong sense that your husband is yelling out to you.i feel you should listen, he's warning you that this is a serious danger, a cry for help. Anything is possible when one is willing to acknowledge the problem and work on it. For this to be a safe and healing process your husband really should seek counseling and reach out for support consistently. Naturally you love each other and you each love your daughter. Sacrifice yourselves to ensure the best safe, comfortable, stable, loving environment for your daughter.
Support one another as partners, encouraging growth and the depth of your relationship. In this process you will be building a solid foundation for a beautiful family.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Ophellia » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:18 am

Johnny,
I don't understand what you are referring to. Is it me or the original poster?? If it is me, I don't know what part of my story you feel is my husband 'shouting' out at me? My husband feels as though he has put what happened to him into the past, just as my brother and father-in-law have with their own experiences. I don't belive my own father has but he's a different person and keeps things inside and dwells on them allowing them to build up over time (not a healthy thing to do). As far as my sister-in-law, my husband just wants to let her know that he's sorry for what he did, and that he has asked God for forgiveness. He doesn't expect her to forgive him straight away or if at all for his own benefit, he does, however, understand that if one forgives, it helps in healing.
I can think of one particular woman who forgave the mass murderer who killed her husband, not only did she forgive him but she told it to him personally while he was serving time in prison. That's not something easy to do. She said it was the most powerful thing for her to do as it allowed her to move on from the tragedy. She didn't know if it helped the murderer to know she'd forgiven him, it didn't matter that much to her, however, she said that if it changed his life for the better seeing her forgiveness even though he didn't ask for it then she'd not only helped herself but she'd helped another human being.
He wants her to be a whole and healthy person and feels that if she won't confront him she will not heal fully. Yes he'd like it all to go away and that it was never spoken of again and that everyone can be respectful towards each other, that's the way his family is, but he also knows that that is not possible. The last thing he wants is for his family to be broken, with a member whom we have no contact ( I already have one on my side and it is not fun!).
I believe that the councelling should have occurred when my husband was a child not long after he was abused. I honestly do not believe it would achieve anything now. He is happy, healthy and has a strong relationship with is wife and God. He also has no desire for children!! My eldest daughter is 11 now older than his sister was when he stopped abusing her and she has never been abused either by touching or being asked to touch ( I know I've asked her on more than one occasion). The closest she ever got to anything like that was when she was 5 and was caught in a toilet stall with a 5 yr old boy who had told her to take her clothes off and not to tell anyone, he was in the process of taking his clothes off as well. I instantly thought that the boy had experienced something like that and was repeating the same actions.
In the end what it all boils down to is the fact that some people do need councelling to help them deal with what ever has happened to them or is affecting them, others don't as they have developed the skills to deal with it themselves. A child hasn't developed these skills so do need to talk to someone they can trust and can teach them these strategies, some adults also need this, most adults should have developed them themselves through life experiences.
I can say these things as from my own experiences I do not think I need councelling, some people would suggest to get some anyway. The thing is is that when I get those flashbacks I have the strategies to tell myself that it happened in the past, that it can't control my life now and that I have moved on and am much happier in the life I have now. A bit like the quote from the Bible 'Get thee behind me Satan' . You can tell those things to leave you alone, give them to God, or you can dwell on them and let them control your life.
I hope this has made things a bit clearer.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby siofra » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Hi Ophellia,

I am only now getting the whole story. I didnt realse that your husband was abused as well. From previous posts you referred to your mother in law returned to work/college when your sister in law was 11.

Yes he'd like it all to go away and that it was never spoken of again and that everyone can be respectful towards each other, that's the way his family is,[quote]

I'm afraid never speaking of it again is also very damaging as this continuous the cycle of abuse. As you said his parents didnt speak about the horrible events which happened and there was a horrible outcome.

I believe that the councelling should have occurred when my husband was a child not long after he was abused. I honestly do not believe it would achieve anything now[quote]

Counselling is complicated, a person has to feel comfortable and well supported in order for it to be a success. Since your inlaws never spoke of the issue it was not a safe and supportive place for councelling to take place.

My eldest daughter is 11 now older than his sister was when he stopped abusing her and she has never been abused either by touching or being asked to touch ( I know I've asked her on more than one occasion).[quote]

Personally I wouldnt see asking my children if they were abused by their father a normal family life. Yes I believe that children need to be given the tools to prevent abuse occuring and that if anything un toward was to happen with anyone that I am always there to believe and support them and that the door is always open and there are no secrets.

In the end what it all boils down to is the fact that some people do need councelling to help them deal with what ever has happened to them or is affecting them, others don't as they have developed the skills to deal with it themselves. A child hasn't developed these skills so do need to talk to someone they can trust and can teach them these strategies, some adults also need this, most adults should have developed them themselves through life experiences.[quote]

I feel this quote is off the wall, children are in survival mode and they are completely dependent on their parents. Parents are the first educators in their childrens lives and if they choose what and what not to communicate, how does that just vanish when you are a grown adult? If you have ever heard the saying a childhood lasts forever. People who seek counselling are not weak or less of an individual they are simply taking responsibility for themselves to have a brighter and better future, to challenge themselves and their beliefs. You have a lot of shoulds, should suggests inferior and this couldnt be further from the truth. Personal development is also a very important part of our continuous education. To challenege ourselves encourages change and not just handing down old unhealthy ways.


she can also know that I am doing everything in my power to protect my children (I'm even planning to homeschool my children so they are under my supervision even more!)
I have a suspicion that you do not believe in God from what you've said previously but I'd still like to say to you :
[quote]

Personally I think home schooling your children would be a sad day. It would completely isolate them from their peers and life in general. I dont understand how this would be protecting them as you can see, victims usually know their abusers. I also wanted to say that your suspicions could not be further from the truth. I live in my truth, I dont hide behind anything and things are what they are as I said before we are made up of a mind, body and soul. To be a healthy individual all has to be looked after.

Persecuting will not solve or heal her pain, nor will it make her feel any better. If she wanted to do that she should have done it before others were involved, now she has two nieces she loves very much who will be hurt, they're already hurting as they can not see their Aunty, Uncle or cousins,

Prosecuting may not solve her pain or heal her but that is her choice. I dont think you can tell anyone when the right time is. Your husband confided in you as to what happened before you were married and you thought you could handle it and maybe didnt see down the road. It is unfortunate that there is children involved but you also have to take responsibility for that. You entered into a relationship armed with all the information and made your decisions. You excepted him for him and you also choice the father of your children, with all the baggage. What he did damaged another, he was damaged and his parents choice to ignore it. Hopefully you can change history and this doesnt darken your door again. 8)
Last edited by siofra on Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Ophellia » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:30 am

Soifra,

number 1: if you re-read my post I mentioned that my husband told me his whole story just before our 5 wedding anniversary, so all I knew was that he had been abused as a child. I knew nothing about what he'd done himself. I think he felt that if he did tell me sooner I'd have left. I can't say what choices I would have made back then, but I do know that the way he acts around our children is very similar to the way my father started acting around myself, my brother and younger sister when my older sister accused him of sexually abusing her (which he never did, it was just a way of hurting my mother and father so she could get her own way and move to my grandparents). My father stopped coming into the bathroom to wash us and he didn't roughhouse with us nearly as much as he used to (something I didn't understand as a child but now do, and am angry that my sister made my father change his behaviours so as to not be confused for an abuser). My husband is exactly the same with our girls and has always insisted they don't run around naked, which is quite normal for toddlers to do!!

Number 2: When someone has worked though their issues, no matter what they are, I don't believe that councelling will help in anyway. I think society has a fixation and over reliance on councelling. Yes they are trained, however, in most cases they are trained in humanistic environments that have an entirely wrong view of humanity. Where does my help come from? It comes solely from the strength and power of the Lord. He is my strength, shield and refuge. No humanbeing can provide the peace that you can get from total reliance in God. My husband also holds strong to this principle, so we get our 'councelling' from the scriptures, and acknowledging that we are sinners in the need for a saviour who can wash us clean of all our wrong doing. Yes there are always Earthly concequences for our actions, as my husband is finding out the hard way, but ultimately what really matters is if we are clean infront of our Lord. My husband is working on all aspects of repentence, confessing to God and to people you trust, asking for forgiveness from the Lord and those you've hurt (unless it'll hurt them more), expecting that total forgiveness from God (he promised he would) but not necessarily from those you've hurt (that's up to them to give), and moving on from the sin and changing your life to more reflect Jesus.

Number 3: When I asked my daughter, I did not say 'Has Daddy ever touched you etc?' I asked her if anyone had ever touched her or asked her to touch them? I knew that by phrasing the question in such a way she would not know why I was asking and it covered every possible base, including grandparents, uncles, aunties, friends, teachers etc. I also told her that if anything like that ever happened that she was to say no and try to get out of the situation any way she could and then tell me.

Number 4. The homeschooling issue just highlights your world view. Homeschooling was the main way children were educated right upto the mid 19th century when the industrial revolution changed the mindset of most people. The government has an agenda to take parenting away from parents. Teaching children and indoctrinating them in their humanistic framework, the aim is to remove as much parental influence as possible, from values and morals to religious beliefs. Just look at all the things that have been taken out of schools that were formally common place in the classroom. Look at how children were taught to read in the early 1900's (using the Bible). Also look at what has been put into the classrooms, sex ed in particular (this issue should be taught by parents to reflect the correct values, not if you're going to have sex here are the safe ways of doing it!) I am a qualified teacher and so have the skills to develop a curriculum that is based on governmental standards as well as provide my children with a rich learning environment where they can explore the world and develop as citzens who have been brought up on Biblical principles, not humanistic ones which centre on self. The final issue is that my children do get socialisation. My 3 year old goes to playgroup and so socialised with children her age, my 11 year old is a member of a church club where she is learning life skills and is also able to socialise. Both girls also do swimming where they can interact with other children. So do you now think it will be a sad day? I know that I see behavioural differences in my 3 year old after she's been to daycare, and those differences are not for the better!! Some of the most influential people in our history were homeschooled including:
U.S. Presidents who were homeschooled:
John Adams, John Quincy Adams, James Garfield, William, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson,
Abraham Lincoln, James Polk, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt ,George Washington,
Scientists:
George Washington Carver, Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday - electrochemist, Oliver Heaviside - physicist and electromagnetism researcher, T.H. Huxley, Blaise Pascal, Booker T. Washington, Erik Demaine - Popular Science Mag,
Artists:
William Blake, John Singleton Copley, Claude Monet, Grandma Moses, Charles Peale, Leonardo da Vinci, Andrew Wyeth, Jamie Wyeth,
Religious Leaders:
Joan of Arc, William Carey, Jonathan Edwards, Philipp Melancthon, Dwight L. Moody, John Newton, John Owen, Hudson Taylor, John & Charles Wesley, Brigham Young

just to name a few, if you want an extensive list go to: http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/famous ... oolers.htm

A final note, you will also find that more and more people are going to homeschooling as the realise that they can provide a better education for their children. In most cases it is one on one tuition which is much better that one on 24! Not to mention it is cheaper and you as a parent are incontrol!
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby siofra » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:08 am

Hi Ophellia,

Really sorry to hear that your sister falsely acused your dad of abusing her, that was very wrong. In relation to the counselling I know that I received therapy from a christian based organisation. It was reasuring to me that their heart was in the right place, I had tried counselling with other agencies and it didnt work for me. So there are options.
In relation to the home schooling I dont mean to be rude but we dont live in the 19th centuary any more. I was not questioning your capabilities or qualifications, I to am a teacher. I was just saying if your motivation was to escape this situation I personally wouldnt think it was a good idea. My children are extremely socialable and if I were to cut their schooling they would be so upet. I know my dad asked my 7 year old if he was going to find a job and give up school, all of a sudden he burst out crying. We asked him what was wrong and he said if he was to give up school he would miss his friends. Maybe we are in different countries but I have to say I do not have the experience of the school taking the place of the parent or morals. I know you do have to deal with others difficult behaviours and for me this makes my kids stronger as I can correct and direct them into making healthy choices. It would be easier to cut this off but they will have to enter the real world and unfortunately have to deal with these situations. In relation to sex ed I agree that it is not as simple as keeping yourself safe, for me I believe that sex is for within a relationship and with someone you really love and casual sex can be extremely damaging. When I reach the point of sex ed I will be educating them of same.
I can educate my children but I have to say school and after school activities are great for socialising, making loads of friends and have loads of options for outlets and support networks.
I wish you and your family all the best.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Ophellia » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:22 pm

Soifra,
I think we've taken this issue in a different direction! Oops!!!
I certainly understand how your children feel, most kids do love school at that age. I've been speaking to my 11 year old for about a year now on the issue of homeschooling her and she is all for the idea, especially as she'll see all her friends at the church based club she attends (they all go to the same school she does). It's just that my husband and I have come to the point where we realise that having us both working just so we can own our own home etc really isn't what we want for our lives or our children. We feel that having one of us at home is the best thing we can provide for them. We can work slowly at getting that home instead of jumping in and losing out as we did in 2007 ( six months before the financial crisis) we ended up selling our home in 2011 for a huge loss and so now are paying the shortfall off by living with my in-laws!! Not fun when you're married with two kids I can say!!
It's taken time, maturity, learning from our mistakes and listening to God (he answered our prayers for us finding a way for me to be home full time from next year and have our 3rd child!). We've had to trust that making sacrifices is ultimately better for our family than trying to do it our way or the way the world tells us to. God knows best.
As a last note, the decision to homeschool has nothing to do with what happened between my husband and his sister, we'd already started asking God for the situation well over 12 months ago. I want my children to growup with the values of their parents not the world which is slowly but surely creeping into all school systems regardless of whether they are state run or privately run, and no matter what country you are in, the trend is towards humanism which is all centred around self gratification. My values are based on the Bible which is about sacrificing oneself to becoming more like Christ who came to serve not to be served!
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby endodo » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:41 pm

I feel the need to add my opinion to this thread, even though my own situation has been significantly different, because I feel (perhaps understandably) there's a lot of misinformation and wishful thinking on the part of women who discover their husbands have been abusers.

Firstly, your husbands (and you, to some extent) need to face the reality of their actions. Put yourself in the victims shoes, or imagine if it were your own daughter. Whatever the ages or actions involved, your husbands forced their own sexual needs onto a much younger child. It seems their ages are being used an excuse, but personally I believe that children of 14/15 or higher are more than capable of understanding that this behaviour is wrong, cruel and utterly inappropriate. Perhaps they don't understand the trauma they will cause in full, but you can't say they didn't know it was wrong, because they must have done.

Secondly, the victim's needs at this point should be of the utmost priority. If they need to stay away, that's their choice. If they need to attend counselling and ask your partners to attend counselling, that's what should be done. Of course the sister's will be concerned about your children - if I found out my abuser had more children or access to children, I would have gone to the police and if it had been my brother as a teenager, I would have grave concerns over him having kids of his own. You should be concerned too, especially if he doesn't bring this up until after you've already had a daughter - this should have been told to you from the start and certainly from the point you became pregnant or trying to conceive.

Saying that the sister is choosing to let it rule her life is ignorant at best, and more likely disgraceful. Suggesting that some people you know have managed to deal with abuse on their own (it's unlikely theyve dealt with it, by the way) and are somehow superior to those who need counselling is further ignorance, and also disgraceful behaviour.

Worse, saying that asking god for forgiveness is a better option than counselling... My mind boggles. Christian beliefs do not prevent the desire to abuse children - ask the catholic church about that. Whether your husband asks for forgiveness or not, this doesnt change what he did or deal with the reasons for it, and is the equivalent of locking the problem away and pretending it's not vanished. Even trying to say that god's forgiveness is equivalent to seeking help from a trained professional is delusional.

Remember that you've only heard your husband's side of the story - even if the abuse was "just touching", the damage to their sisters could be tremendous. They may struggle to have relationships at all, let alone children of their own - but your husbands can have all this and not have to live with the consequences of their actions, because they've justified it as not that bad, because of their age, and they've been forgiven by god? It's highly possible that the reality of what your husband's have done is more severe than theyve told you - if I had to tell my spouse is abused someone, maybe I'd make out that I was too young to know what I was doing, it was only once, it was just a bit of touching. What would you do if you feared your spouse might leave and take the kids?

I probably can't have children, but if I'm ever fortunate enough to have one, I will do whatever it takes to avoid them experiencing what I did. If I find out my husband or family member abused a child at whatever age, they would be allowed either no access or only supervised access. Asking the kids if they've been touched by daddy is both unhealthy and not the answer - if my mother had asked me at the time, I would have said no because I was scared of what would happen.

I'm not saying your husbands have innate sexual impulses towards children or will definitely abuse them, but your children deserve to be completely safe so you should take no risks. In the OPs case, it sounds like your husband is voicing these concerns because he's genuinely worried he might do something and he urgently needs help to deal with any remaining issues. Any abuser who knows what they have done and is remorseful should apologist, understand that this can never be enough and get help to ensure they are not a danger to anyone else.

I can understand being concerned about it coming out and destroying your family life but you should get that, to some extent, that life was based on lies. These men allowed you to get pregnant or even have children before telling you this, not even giving you the opportunity to make an informed choice. I tell you know, I love my husband very much but if I found out he abused his sister I would most likely leave. I certainly would never have children with him - you weren't given this choice by these men. They concealed this from their wives - what else could they conceal from you?

I'm not saying that they should be punished for the rest of their days but they should be honest - they were old enough to know better, rampaging hormones is no excuse. They need to own up to it, and legitimately deal with it - asking an invisible being fir forgiveness means nothing and only serves to make them feel better and get them off the hook. They shouldn't be allowed to do that.

-- Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:42 pm --

I should add that church staff are entirely correct to treat a known abuser as a potential threat, as would any teacher who found out, or anyone else who is responsible for providing a safe environment for children.

I can partly understand your thoughts that he was too young to know better, but think of yourself at that age and what you were and weren't able to understand. If they themselves were abused, their behaviour makes more sense but is still not justifiable. Many abused children do not abuse others as a result.

Finally, I think dismissing the idea that this behaviour can be caused by illness or genetic disposition is extremely dangerous - if indeed there is an element of either (and I think it's safe to say there is) then this behaviour is something that requires intervention an treatment, not just a redoubling of efforts in your religious life. I do believe that most abusers have some degree of mental health problem, either innate or caused by experiences - but having a mental illness doesn't mean that you have to go through with abuse, even if it makes you want to do it. There is significant evidence that some people are fundamentally and irreversibly sexually attracted to children - these people can choose to go through with this behaviour, or seek help and refuse to damage an innocent child for their own gratification. Of course, not every abuser is in this category - some behaviour is fuelled by other mental health difficulties such as sociopathy, some by drug or alcohol abuse - and these abusers may have no innate sexual interest in children, their abuse is caused by other factors.

Have you actually thought about what caused your husbands to abuse their sisters? I mean, really thought about the reasons? People don't do things for no reason - it could be as simple as having sexual desire and little regards for the consequences at the time, but since there are many lustful teenage boys who would never touch their siblings under any circumstances, what makes your husbands different? I think one of you said your husband was abused as a young child - this could cause the behaviour, but I think it still takes something to allow a person who understands how traumatic this is to go on and do it to someone else, especially someone they love.

I think your husbands need to establish why they did what they did, and seek specialist professional help to deal with those causes. Without this, I would personally feel they pose a threat to my children.

Finally, please seek actual medical help rather than turning to church counsellors with minimal training that has no basis in scientific knowledge - I had heard awful stories of these people causing untold damage rather than help. You wouldn't let an unqualified electrician rewire your house, and this is potentially more dangerous.
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Re: My husband abused his sister (may trigger?)

Postby Marie2010 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:43 pm

I've been reading this thread and skimming much of it (it a very long thread). I'm a bit confused with all the back and forth and what the original poster is asking vs what the woman with the sister-in-law is saying. So, forgive me if this has already been addressed, but -

To Ophellia -

There are two very separate issues with this story. The first is your husbands experiences, rights, and general well being. The second is your sister-in-law's experiences, rights, and general well being.

Your husband: From what you posted, your husband is a good, law abiding man who cares for his family. This same man, as a child, abused his younger sister. As an adult, he sees how abusing his sister was wrong, is repentant, and vows to never harm another child. Therefore, you feel that society should treat him with the respect that he has earned by putting his soiled past behind him and living an admirable life as a good husband, father, and Christian. Is that correct? If so, this makes sense, and I see where you're coming from.

However, there is another massive puzzle piece here that I think you kinda understand, but perhaps not fully. Thats the reaction (or what my seem like an over-reaction) by your sister-in-law and her extended family (especially mother-in-law?). Here's my take, personally, I think she's entitled to tell her story to anyone and everyone who will listen, even if that includes pressing charges. Its her story, her experiences to tell. She's being honest with herself and open with others. This is an admirable quality which many people lack. I see no fault on her for this. Her in-laws are supporting her. They are providing her with all the tools she needs to empower her. It seems like they love her and are trying to defend her. I see no problem with this.

Your husband also has the right to speak openly and honestly about his experiences. He's repentant, and thats good. If he senses that society (such as the church elders, etc) are unfairly judging him for his past, then it is up to him to openly and honestly approach these individuals and share his story. Tell them directly and honestly that he did commit the crime, he understands the impact his crime had on his sister, and he has vowed to live a good life and never hurt another child. If he is true to this, then the elders will see it in his actions and the way he leads his life. Fair or not, this is something that he will have to deal with the rest of his life. It is not something that he can tuck away in his past. It is not the sister-in-law's fault that he has to deal with this the rest of his life either, btw. I can't fault her for being open and honest.

My advise to you is to make sure that you and your husband fully understand how much both the initial abuse and the subsequent secrecy of the abuse has damaged the sister. A therapist would be good here. Your husband cannot really repent unless he truly understands the depth of his sister's suffering. This is not an issue that he can simply get over, put in the past, or lay at the Lords feet without fully understanding the implications of his actions and sympathizing with his victim.


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I'd also like to put in my two cents about blaming the mother. I think its ridiculous to assume the parents are at fault when their teenage son commits a crime. Teenagers are teenagers. They do stupid things and make stupid choices regardless of how well they were raised. Just saying. Without really knowing anything about this woman or her parenting skills, its not fair to blame her.
"If you stand straight, do not fear a crooked shadow." Chinese Proverb
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