Husband and His Sexuality


My husband was sexually abused by his older brother, other boys in his neighborhood and in scouts. He moved away when he graduated and had a sexual relationship with another young man his age, but he told me it was only sex, that they never kissed or actually slept together as bf & bf. There have been times that he has been “addicted“ to reading gay erotica and viewing gay porn. This then led him to “dating” sites. He swears to me he has not cheated on me. He refuses to deal with the trauma, stating he’s afraid to hurt me but this is hurting me more, the not knowing, the questioning. I love him and I’m going to start seeing a T myself to try and deal with my own issues, I’m a compulsive shopper, and my co-dependency. I just can’t deal with the anxiety anymore and he’s going through another period of shutting me out, using his “service work” in AA as a reason to not be home. I don’t know what to door how to get him to see a T.
The bottom line is that you cannot get him to see a therapist. It's something he has to decide to do for himself. Even an ultimatum of "see a therapist or I will leave you" won't work if he's not ready to see a therapist.

The only thing you can control is yourself. It's great that you're going to be seeing your own therapist.


There is a lot of work involved in him becoming the man that you want, especially when you are living with him. You are a daily reminder to him as the person he committed his life to, but really you are only settling into an emotional anchor role for him to act out elsewhere to release the sexual tension he hasn’t figured out. In other words, if you are the person that gets him to go to therapy and he does, he will most likely see it as manipulative and resent you because you took him away from this other world. My opinion is get someone else who he respects to tell him that he will lose you if he doesn’t go to therapy.

Abraham Hicks meditation on YouTube, and other childhood healing meditation on the “insight Timer” app would also help in the meantime to get him emotionally centered.
Good luck.
he will most likely see it as manipulative and resent you because you took him away from this other world.
From my experience, he will see it as being victimized again. You certainly have the right to set your own boundaries of what you will or will not put up with and you don’t have to be a door mat.
...I don’t know what to door how to get him to see a T.
You've posted similar comments over time. I'm sorry this continues to cause you so much pain. I think we all understand how difficult it is to change behavior when we're carrying the burden of sexual trauma. Your husband is doing the best he can but it is contributing to your suffering. Since there really is NOTHING you can do that will CHANGE HIM... you're left with how to take care of yourself. You seem to recognize that shopping won't solve your problems as a couple, which is good. I wonder since your husband is attending AA meetings whether you're attending Alanon meetings. You might find some value in that since a survivor of CSA will certainly exhibit behaviors that bring people to 12 Step meetings. I've spent years in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous for behaviors clearly rooted in sexual trauma. Alanon participation won't fix your husband either but it may help you explore whether staying in this marriage will work for you. I have four ex-wives who concluded it didn't work with me, so I'm not inclined to believe a partner has to stay eternally, even when their needs are being ignored. But you haven't come to a decision for yourself and Alanon meetings and literature might assist you in that process.

Yes, this is painful and NO it is not fair. But it is what happened and this is how in manifests in your husband's world AND your life together. It is for you to take care of yourself, whatever that ultimately means. All the best to both of you.


I’m a supporter and have and been alongside my survivor for many years, and that is the key word ‘alongside’. We can’t make anyone do anything they’re feel they can’t do.
I know in our journey that emotional distance is part of my survivors need as he heals. Sometimes it’s been because he quite literally needs to gather himself, it’s all he can do to make it through the day, sometimes his away time emotionally and physically is because he’s protecting me from the horrors in his world, even though I tell him I’m strong enough to hear anything he needs to tell me. But he’s told me how he hates to dump on me and wished we had better things to talk about. Sometimes it’s because we have things so complicated that we never get peace to be together.
This healing journey is long haul, you have to decide if you’re patient enough, strong enough and have love enough for the both of you. Working through our own issues is vital, it helped me to really clear out my insecurities and know when they were and are playing a part. They still do every time he steps back into his world but I know my triggers and if they come up while he’s away, I know there’s still work for me to do. Self knowledge is essential.
When he’s taking away time, for me I’ve learnt is because it’s part of his formula, and the pause also gives me insight into my own journey. I go inward and seek the answers I’m looking for within. For me, it’s unconditional love. If we give love with conditions then we are just repeating the demands our survivors experienced in their abuse. I’m not talking about being a door mat, I’m talking about truly knowing where our own unhealed insecurities are driving demands in the relationship.
Visitor said it well, not everyone can promise stay eternally, but understanding our own “stuff” certainly helps those odds that we can stay alongside. It’s hard on everyone, but working on yourself and being the best version of yourself it’s all we have control of here.
wishing you both well on your healing journey. HH
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Hello karin4him
I understand the various responses to your post and it is good to consider different perspectives on this issue. While it is certainly true that no human being can make another human being do anything; we do all have an impact upon those with whom we interact and especially upon those who we love and/or are in an intimate relationship with. So I just want to tell you this: Almost 30 years ago when I first began recovering memories of my CSA and dealing with all of the related issues; I reached a point in time when I hit "rock bottom" and my wife saw me and she was crying and got on her hands and knees and begged me to see a therapist - and I did. I know this has (so far) not been your experience and perhaps it is not the experience of most; but it is my experience and I wanted you to know that. Thankfully the first few therapists I saw were very helpful to me personally and also helpful to my relationship with my wife. My wife did come to at least one session with me when we were at an impasse that the therapist was able to immediately able to help me see more clearly and thus dissipate the impasse. Hopefully your husband can come to a place of understanding that your request for him to see a therapist are made for his best interest and that you make the request out of love and concern for him and for the relationship you share... if that does not happen (as it has not thus far), then, maybe for the time being, stop asking him to go and take care of yourself and hopefully your therapist can help you regarding all of this. Best Wishes.

You take my breath away. Such a thoughtful, mature and healthy response to what life brought to you in the form of this person you love. Trauma destroys lives and yet, as you say, healing IS possible and relationship can work but only at the cost of deep and profound personal work. It takes both deep love and a great capacity for self examination to do this. I'd tell you my story but I don't want to steal this thread. You've given Karin a clear picture of what might happen in a relationship with sexual trauma at its heart. I've no idea whether she has the inclination or capacity for doing the kind of work you outline. And it appears her husband is engaged in acting out behavior that is difficult for her to accept on any level. It takes great courage to take care of yourself AND remain faithful to someone who is unfaithful himself.