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NeedAdvice77 posted:
Recently my wife told me she had been raped. Before we met someone she dated put something in her drink at a party. Immediately after it happened, all she knew was she had blacked out, there was sex, and something wasn't right about it. But, she assumed it was because she had too much to drink. This was her first sexual experience of any kind. She didn't know what really happened until a freind of hers heard from someone else that this guy had ruffies, or something of the sort, and had used them on her. (Just typing this breaks my heart!)
Sometime between the actual incident and when she found out, we started dating. Somewhere in the early stages of our relationship she found out and developed an intense attachement to me, from what I believe, as emotional support. I had no idea what was going on, or why she had such an emotional attachment to me, and just thought that she was really clingy. That caused me to try to pull away at times because it was a little intense at first, but her caring and emotion for me made me fall in love with her.
About 5 years into our relationship we moved in together and there was a time she was completely disinterested in anything sexual. Again, I had no idea why and I got frustrated with her, but we made it through it and things turned back around after 6 months to a year.
Now, 10 years after we started dating she began to pull away from me again. Still not knowing why, I'd get frustrated and angry and we'd argue, until one day about two months ago she told me what happened. She said one of the only people who knew this happened found her on facebook and sent her a message saying they were so sorry that had ever happened to her, which brought back a flood of emotions that she had burried.
I now feel absolutely horrible for not being more understanding to begin with and am at a loss for what to do. I think her telling me, the first person she has ever told, is part of her healing process. She doesn't want to seek help professionally, but is trying to take steps on her own to work through this instead of burying it like she has for the past 10 years.
Our relationship has taken a huge hit with this as well. I was completely cought off guard and want to comfort her, as this is new to me and carries a lot of emotions on my side as well. She, on the other hand, says that she's lost an emotional attachment towards me and every time I touch her she feels violoated like she did when she found out what happened. She often wants to be alone by herself and when I try to talk to her about our relationship she gets angry at me. We went almost a week where we would be civil while the kids were awake, but she would want to be completely alone after they went to bed. There have been a couple times when she has even brought up divorce becuase she says she doesn't feel an emotional attachement towards me.
I am at a complete loss regarding what to do. The thought of her being raped and her losing an 'emotional attachment' to me to the point of bringing up divorce breaks my heart like you wouldn't believe. But, I feel like the rape and dissattachment from me emotionally are inteconnected and her grieving/healing from the rape is causing her emotional detachment from me. I know she still has something inside for me because every now and then she shows it with a genuine emotion like a pationate hug and kiss, or just that smile she has that has always said 'I love you'.
What can I do to help her heal and recapture our relationship? Is this loss of 'emotional connection' towards me part of her emotional process of dealing with the rape? I am completely clueless on how to act to the point where I know I'm not acting normal and probably pushing her further away from me. My instinct is to try to comfort her and talk to her, but she is completely against me doing that. Any advice is truely appretiated!
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awesomelexie responded:
I am sorry this has happened to your wife.

Go to rainn.org (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) and you can chat 24/7 with someone about all your questions.

First, you don't have to feel bad about doing something you didn't know about. You had no idea she had this history or (I assume) you would not have acted that way.

Second, she needs counseling. It is hard if not impossible to heal by yourself, especially from something that is as traumatic as rape. That being said, you can't make someone go.

Third, you are a secondary survivor - a loved one of someone who has survived rape. There are many resources out there for you. Ask the rainn.org chat person (or call them) what's around in your area?
 
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slik_kitty responded:
she does need therapy to help her deal with this. maybe even couples counseling too so she can learn to dissociate her past from you. all that she is feeling and her feeling like she has lost an emotional attachment to you are all a part of the rape. she buried it long ago, but never truly dealt with it. now she needs to deal with it so she can move on and enjoy life and the relationship she has now with you.


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