Relationship Please, can someone who has dealt with being married to a rape victim help me?

enough

MyPTSD Pro
I have to state upfront that I am a victim posting in the supporter's section because that's where I think I will get the answers to my questions.

I know I am pretty much limited in how I can help my wife, that she has to heal alone and I can at best be supportive of her and patient with her. At least that's how I see it, that's what I have been told before.

But it has been 5 years, and i am living with a stranger in many ways. We are getting older and there isn't much time left for either of us. Covid has stolen some of that.

She has been seeing a counselor but from all i have heard and seen, her caregiver is not much help, more of a paid friend to share her misery with. The ONLY push I give her is to try another source, just to explore the help available to her.

Things are accelerating due to our ages and her health deterioration, we don't get many more years and these could be great years, it is hard to just patiently support her.

I feel guilty for even hearing my counselor tell me "you can't change her, just you, divorce, pay alimony, and live whats left of your life the best you can in the situation you find yourself in". It tears me apart to even listen to that and then go back the next week and hear it again. But that really is my only way to actively change the situation, isn't it? Every other course of action is a strictly adhered to lack of action. Patience, support, all of the rest of our lives if it never changes, and we are running out of time for changes.

Anything, any advice, any stories of success, any coping strategies, anything. Maybe I have insight because I know PTSD from the inside, maybe it clouds my vision, like I know my healing is only done by me (with counseling) so i assume that it is all up to her and I have to take the back seat and wait for it. That my only allowed intrusion into her trauma is to suggest getting better counseling. Thanks for even reading this far, and thanks to anyone that will take the time to respond.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
there are many many reasons to keep this place and stay married, but I am getting tired of dragging my feet waiting for her to hop aboard.
I can sure understand all of that. Maybe it's time to find a way to quit waiting. That doesn't necessarily mean divorce. It doesn't seem entirely reasonable for you to keep trying to take care of someone who doesn't seem interested in taking care of themselves.

What do you kids think about all this? They must be aware of her medical situation, aren't they? Are they aware that she seems to be stuck in a place where she's not helping herself? Can they help?
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
What do you kids think about all this? They must be aware of her medical situation, aren't they? Are they aware that she seems to be stuck in a place where she's not helping herself? Can they help?
that is what is likely to happen. kids are working up to telling her she needs to recover in a structured environment and it isn't my job to enforce one. I was just a little surprised when she told me she thought they were plotting something and I called my daughter and they were.
kid one has a newborn son of his own that is just now catching up from premature birth, daughter 1 is moving to a new job in Maine this summer, and daughter two is like 7 weeks shy of giving birth to twins. They don't need this crap, I am the shock absorber.
Joker in the deck is cousin with an RN. all hopes are on the nurse
 

hithere

MyPTSD Pro
I guess I'd have to agree with you. Unless for religious reasons you made a vow for sickness and in health. My friend just died of Alzheimers, she was so young to get such an awful disease and it ruined her relationship with her husband. She couldn't communicate what she was experiencing and he could only offer her physical and emotional support. He received nothing back from her for years. His love for her and his devotion to her care is an incredible inspiration to me. I am sure he had wells of grief that the beautiful woman he married changed right before his eyes, she was no longer someone he knew. But he did know "her" deep inside, he remembered her. However this man had a deep deep religious faith, so I do not think it is common today.

Perhaps saying goodbye, and finding love elsewhere is your best chance at happiness. I do understand your pain.
 

HisWife22

Sponsor
@enough, I've just finished reading this thread. I'm am touched at your devotion to your wife, and at the same time so concerned for you. I sense from some of your comments here that you may have had a career in the first responder field? Maybe I'm wrong.

I am a supporter of a partner that is a first responder and has PTSD from it. It's an interesting dynamic with him, because even as he's dealing with his own demons, he is at his core always trying to take care of others. He's somewhat lost if he isn't/can't do that.

You have so much to be proud of in your commitment to your choice to remain and support. I truly hope you and your family have found some resolution. Did she end up having surgery?
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
@FFwife No, I was a lowly volunteer, rural no less. I got a lot of high closing speed MVA and rolled up on many many scenes alone in the truck, just me and a radio. Ten years.
My career is in mechanical design, getting close to the end.
My wife is still waiting for the third hip install, probably coming next month. Right now the stress in our life is all about twin boys born a little early and in NICU, daughter was a little rough but looking up, things are all relative when it comes to tolerance for stress.
Thanks for the helpful post
 

HisWife22

Sponsor
@FFwife No, I was a lowly volunteer, rural no less. I got a lot of high closing speed MVA and rolled up on many many scenes alone in the truck, just me and a radio. Ten years.
My career is in mechanical design, getting close to the end.
My wife is still waiting for the third hip install, probably coming next month. Right now the stress in our life is all about twin boys born a little early and in NICU, daughter was a little rough but looking up, things are all relative when it comes to tolerance for stress.
Thanks for the helpful post
Nothing lowly about being a volunteer.

Congrats, Grandpa! Hope all get healthy and come home soon.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
No, I was a lowly volunteer, rural no less.
Just wanted to say "thanks!" I live in a rural area and you people are extremely important members of the community. Not only is that a demanding job (which you have to leave whatever else you're doing at a moment's notice to go and do) seems like you run a better than average chance of the person you're trying to keep alive till you get them to town being someone you know. We'd be in trouble out here in the middle of nowhere without people who are willing and able to volunteer for those jobs.
 

Calmingpeace

Not Active
I have to state upfront that I am a victim posting in the supporter's section because that's where I think I will get the answers to my questions.

I know I am pretty much limited in how I can help my wife, that she has to heal alone and I can at best be supportive of her and patient with her. At least that's how I see it, that's what I have been told before.

But it has been 5 years, and i am living with a stranger in many ways. We are getting older and there isn't much time left for either of us. Covid has stolen some of that.

She has been seeing a counselor but from all i have heard and seen, her caregiver is not much help, more of a paid friend to share her misery with. The ONLY push I give her is to try another source, just to explore the help available to her.

Things are accelerating due to our ages and her health deterioration, we don't get many more years and these could be great years, it is hard to just patiently support her.

I feel guilty for even hearing my counselor tell me "you can't change her, just you, divorce, pay alimony, and live whats left of your life the best you can in the situation you find yourself in". It tears me apart to even listen to that and then go back the next week and hear it again. But that really is my only way to actively change the situation, isn't it? Every other course of action is a strictly adhered to lack of action. Patience, support, all of the rest of our lives if it never changes, and we are running out of time for changes.

Anything, any advice, any stories of success, any coping strategies, anything. Maybe I have insight because I know PTSD from the inside, maybe it clouds my vision, like I know my healing is only done by me (with counseling) so i assume that it is all up to her and I have to take the back seat and wait for it. That my only allowed intrusion into her trauma is to suggest getting better counseling. Thanks for even reading this far, and thanks to anyone that will take the time to respond.
I read your thread and definitely if you try and guide her to a support group of women who’ve been through what she has been through. So she can thrive in community with others and these women know the experience she’s going through like this. If you don’t encourage her or set it up for her she may become more isolated than ever before.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
okay, sitting inside in the AC today, waiting for a call to dinner and checked in and there was a recent post to this thread so here I am. Her cousin, the RN, has moved in and is enjoying her time here in the far from city. She may stay on after the healing of the new hip, it went in 3 weeks ago. All is healing nicely, and in some ways having a smart female of similar background and identical age in the house has changed the outlook on life that was dragging my wife down and away from me. Our house company is a buffer that I think both of us needed, behaviour is better all around. A silent unknowing marriage counselor in the house 24/7.
And I am still staying waaaaay busy. landscaping, rebuilding an outboard motor (s) and fencing several acres and working full time plus- having a companion for my wife here all the time is giving me the permission I needed to just go about my business and not fret over her doing the wrong things again and losing this hip too.
And @Friday, if you are listening, the minimum enough is still by default enough. Everyone wants a better relationship. most of us with a person that we lost. thats why top 40 radio has always been with us and always will be. I get enough from her to survive on what it is, it could be better and I would be happier if it was but this is the life I chose and the vows I took and the enough I get.
Hope is a four letter word. The three little words that keep a marriage alive are "what the hell". Get from here to there and youve done something, now do it again. Enough.
 

PenelopeB

Learning
This is a tricky one and there may not be an easy answer. Personally, I’ve always been the “wear my heart in my sleeve” type. As a supporter, I had to relearn approaching my sufferer in the way that HE needed to deal with his emotions. Whereas I would want to talk about everything that I felt, I had to create a space where he felt safe and comfortable sharing in his own time in a way that maybe wouldn’t be pouring out all of his emotions but would still alert me as to what his mental state was. He had to CHOOSE to share on his own and all I could do was let him know that I was there to listen when he was ready to share in a way that made sense to him. It had to be his idea and desire to open up. But things that I could do were saying “This is how I feel. When/if you’re ready, I’m here for you in the way you need”, “Please tell me what you need”, “How can I make you more comfortable?”, “How do you need me to communicate with you in a way that you would be most open to receiving my love?” Sometimes putting it even as bluntly as that.

I’m so sorry that your wife went through the trauma that she did. At this point it seems as if you both are sufferers as well as supporters. While going through the ordeal may have changed what she needs in order to cope, maybe try thinking back to how she first dealt with you going through your own trauma. How did she first try to approach you? A lot of times, we try to approach our sufferers in the way that we want to be approached, not the way that THEY want to be approached. However, her initial approach to you may give you some hints in what is most natural and comfortable for her in dealing with everything she is going through. Did it work initially in how you interacted with one another? Did she adjust and change her style to meet what you needed better?

Best of luck. We’re thinking of you both and I hope that you can work through it together!
 
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