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.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
Better now, hip is back in place. Now the battle is to try to get her the time she needs to prep for being back home again. There are people that make their living balancing cost of stay and capacity of staff and value of hospital bed and patient outcome against each other. They say go and I just kind of automatically add a day or two to the recommended release date. They don’t like it, but they haven’t seen those first days back as many times as I have.
These are the days I dread the most, wish us a smooth passage.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
A few of the hospital release dates will be forever in my memory, markers of where we were as a couple at the time. today could be a good passage, I would hope she is motivated to do her PT and wear her new brace, but if she fights it and wants to go sit by herself and smoke after this experience, I don't think I will have the amount of care for her left in me to try to stop her. Maybe now she sets her mind up to do the right things, maybe this is what proves to me that she will never. As always i wait to see and react. We wont be arguing about it, not anymore. Not sure what it will be. Hope or disdain. Can't be supportive of her self destruction, anything else yes but not that.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
As I am writing this i am thinking about how I don't want this to become a diary. Thanks for all of the support and sharing, I gained a lot of insight from all of it. Most of all I hear what other supporters are saying about boundaries and self-care. And from the other sufferers offering insight into other ways they have tested and learned to compromise with and appreciate their supporters. We can all agree that there aren't any set models for a happy existence with a victim of this shit, and knowing what helps me (sufferer) get from day to day won't apply to her or you or yours.
Still learning and listening but from here on I think I am not going to use this thread for the airing of specific instances. t appreciate the general knowledge and overview of how to keep stepping forward in this situation, but like all of us supporters, I have to adapt and adjust but stay aware of the big goal- maintaining hope for both of us and being consistent with it. The thread is for the goal and the paths from here on, no more bumps and rocks along the way from me.
 
I wish you both the best @enough .

Personally and professionally I get entirely where you're coming from. And also you are exactly right, the 48-72 hours after discharge often ends up with a fall and back in without 24 hour supervision and assistance.

Just a friendly suggestion because it helps for me, as far as communicating with her goes, can you try without accusation? By that I mean, for example, instead of saying something like, ~you will end of falling because you are so stubborn, or, you will not do what you need to get better (still accusatory, implied), something like, what do you need to feel better? Or, I am very tired, I don't not know what I can do for you and for us. I want to help you but I miss you and our times together. (Or whatever you feel.)

(Disregard if not helpful. And please get rest too, because you are only one human being. )
 
@enough I came back because I thought to myself I wasn't clear, I didn't mean minimizing what you're feeling, nor validating her behaviours, nor really 'doing' anything specifically, especially to control or even influence (though obviously life could be much easier).

What I meant was (speaking from my own experience), before you say something, or when you think it in your head, stop and ask yourself if it is accusatory. If it is, don't say it. But ask yourself what you (really) mean instead and say that. Both in meaning and in 'feelings' behind it.

So a generic example could be, instead of' Want to help unload the groceries, you are so lazy!' Might instead be, stop: 'I'm really tired, could you help me unload the groceries?'

Or, equally, in your own head or thoughts: 'I shouldn't let her try to do it herself, she won't eat. Or she will fall. But I'm so lazy. I've had it. She never listens'. Could become, "I am so tired and overwhelmed, this time she will have to manage the best she can because I really need some sleep'.

I know btw that it is all-consuming. But I also know you can't control everything and the more you try the more fires arise and the more depleted you become. And along with that comes a loss of joy and ironically a loss of connection. Where there should be great gratitude to you for all you're doing can become a strange expectation it will be done for her, and yet a battle to get it done with her cooperation.

Not right post surgery but sometimes it is good, that is it helps people have clearer thinking, to have their choices. And to have responsibility. If you do and choose everything sometimes they no longer want to choose or do anything. Self-esteem suffers. (I mean I think as humans sometimes we want autonomy but want someone else to clean up the messes. Not a great thing about human nature. ) But oddly, think of it (if you can get the energy) that it will be positive, it is going to turn out ok. And start to live with a deep resolution and feeling it is going to be ok, even though it doesn't seem it could be. Good boundaries without negative feelings behind them as a start (and expect the boundaries will likely be pushed back on initially).

Good luck.
 
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