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Husband Of Incest Survivor Looking For Support

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My wife has been working very hard for over two years on healing her abuses, and I have in the past, and will continue in the future to support her 100%. However, the place she is in right now makes it impossible for her to even sit close to me. There is no intimacy in our relationship at all. I understand why this is and I am supportive of it; prepared for the long/slow journey back to safe intimacy together.

I'm just looking for support where I am now. This is a very frustrating place for a 36 year old man to be in. I have no desire at all to go outside the marriage for intimacy - I'm in the relationship for the long haul, but I would like to talk with other husbands who have made it through "to the other side", so to speak. Oftentimes, it seems, to my wife as well as myself, that things will never get better. Some words of encouragement would mean a lot to me right now.

If this is not the right place for this, perhaps someone might share a link or two of websites where I might find this sort of support. Thank you!

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Hi lostboy33 and welcome to AS.

I am sorry for what you and your wife are going through right now.

It sounds like she is extremely lucky to have you in her life.

I know that if you post in the secondary survivors forum - you may find some support there from both people who have gone through similar experiences as your wife and also from people who support others through this. It can be nice to know you are not alone.

My boyfriend actually purchased a book called 'The Courage to Heal' written by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis - there is a section in there for 'supporters of survivors'. He has said that he found this extremely helpful in terms of understanding how best to be there for me. I believe there is also a follow-on book from these authors for allies in healing (im not quite sure though, am sure someone else here will be able to help you with the title/author)

He has also recently seen a counsellor; just a few times when he feels like he needs to vent. I think it is so important for you to find some support for yourself as well. It can become difficult to discuss your own needs/concerns with your partner because sometimes this can hurt us and make us feel guilty. But you deserve some support as well.

It can be a rough road for you, I know that I really do feel for my boyfriend and how frustrating it must be for him.

I am glad you have found this site and it is commendable that you are seeking some support and help.

I wish you both all the best and hope that you can find some support here.



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This is the 3rd time I have tried to respond to this. I want so much to offer support and encouragement so you dont' give up. It is hard it is so tough. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to not be able to reach out and comfort her. My husband is a "touchy" guy and his instinct is to hug me when things are wrong. We have been going through this off and on for 20+ years. Not all that time has been "dealing" alot of that time was spent just living life.

Currently we are back to "dealing" I am not afraid of his touch but I am more easily triggered and it takes talking to myself and keeping my eyes open alot of the time to get through the automatic fear.

I hope she soon enters a different phase where she can once again be receptive to your touch. I know for a long time my husband could touch me in public - hold my hand etc because I knew it wasn't going to lead to sex. But at home I kept my distance not because of what he was doing but where it could lead just a thought. Oh and by the way knowing you are interested may be enough to freeze her. I know I would always feel - obligated but then I couldn't and then I felt guilty. Talk to her, listen hopefully she can explain

Good luck

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Hi lostboy, welcome to After Silence :)

I am sorry for what you are currently going through in your relationship and for what your wife is dealing with. It is admirable that you have sought support and advice to help you through the process. Many of us can offer insight into some of what your wife is feeling, but only she knows what is going on in her head.

Feel free to post questions in our Secondary Survivors forum, thanks for being here.

Nicole :throb:

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Hi Lostboy, I am very sorry for all youy wife has gone through and for what she is still feels as an aftermath for what has gone through, but I think she is very lucky to have someone like you to suppot here, and here at AS we are here to help you and support you as you go through supporting her, :flowers: and we will do ouur best to support you with any concerns/feelings you are having as a result of what she is feeling :hug:

Welcome to AS, and i look forward to seeing you and getting to know you better on the boards soon :hug:

Please take care, and PM me should you have any concerns here at AS, :)


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hey there lost boy! i am new to the boards as well. i cant offer confort from your side but i can from the wifies. there is a part of my body that i cannot stand for my husband to touch because of the feeling it gives me in my stomach, the same feeling i felt 13 years ago when i awoke from my sleep to fingd my step father touching me there. he too understands and supports me 100% and i love him for that. he is the only person in my life that has never doubted my stories. he wants me to fry hiss a**. so what i think is that she appreciates what you are doing. it is hard for you men ofcourse its hard for us ladies too. sometimes it upsets my husband, not at me, at my stepfather because it kinda makes him feel somewhat associated with what happened when i tell him you know i cant stand to be touched there. once i explained why exactly i felt that way, he doesnt touch there anymore but it is an important part. we do have intimacy but not very often. it never was a special thing me, i was robbed of that a long time ago. anyway my point is is thati love him more than i ever have now during his support and understanding. if you hang in there and support her...try your best to understand her.......when it gets better and her healing ball is rolling with full force, she'll remember you and how you were. she appreciates it.....alot even if she cant show you right now....she will. you're doing great. just keep doing what you're doing and just like with anything else it may take some time but everything is gonna be just fine. give her a big hug from all of us here

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As a wife who has gone through.. all I can say is let her know what you need and let her have control. If I have control and choice, then I can. Does no good for my husband to pressure, suggest or anything else.

Just keep supporting her and support yourself as well. You need to find what will replace those needs. Being angry or frustrated by those needs will not be productive. You do need to support her but you have to live your life too.

good luck

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Hi there lostboy!


I am a survivor about to get married in about 4 months. There are several books out there for partners of survivors. I have read Allies in Healing (the book that was mentioned in this thread). The way that it is formatted is in typical questions from partners of survivors with the author's answers and then stories of the journies that the partners have gone through. It covers the effects of abuse, the needs and feelings of partners, dealing with crisis, memories of abuse, intimacy and communication, sex and family issues.

I hope that you find the support that you deserve. Having a good support network can help you to stay sane. :)

Take care!

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Hi Lostboy. Welcome to AS.

Sorry you and your wife are going through such pain right now. When I first wen.t in search of my books to aid my healing I also bought allies in healing for my boyfriend as well as another book called ghosts in the bedroom (could be dealing with ghosts in the bedroom - not sure something like that anyway) as resources for my boyfriend. I don't know if they helped him or not, but I do know that without his support I could never have made it through these last few months. Hang in there when shes ready she will come back to you, listen to her and be supportive, and let her lead.

Sorry I can't be anymore help,


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