My Husband Raped Me… And I Stayed.

My husband raped me.
I’m writing this because it happened to me and I didn’t have a script. I didn’t know what to do.
I know how the story is supposed to go. They’re dating. He abuses her. She leaves him behind.
Except, what happens when you’re already married? What happens when you’re still deeply in love?

It wasn’t violent. It hurt and I told him to stop, and he did, but then he just kept going.

And I’m embarrassed writing this. As if it was my fault. As if I should have said ‘no’ a fourth time, or screamed, or I don’t know punched his nose in or something. But in the moment, I trusted him. I was sure he would stop, so I didn’t panic, I didn’t react. And then he didn’t stop. And then I decided to just hope he was done quickly so I could stop hurting. And then he rolled over and I realized what had happened.

Now that I write it out….it sounds a lot more violent. But it wasn’t yelling and screaming. And
I trusted him. It took me a while but I still trust him now. And yet it hangs between us. Less than a minute in which he violated my trust in the deepest way possible.

I have nobody to talk to, except him. He apologized. He’s done everything to regain my trust. It was a mistake. I believe that. Which means telling others what happened will ruin his relationships with them. I don’t want that, so I am silent.

And still, I cant believe it happened. I was raped. Im now a statistic, living with my rapist.

And those words are so harsh. I feel like I should downplay it. I don’t want to hurt him, I really don’t. I ‘know’ I’m supposed to forget I ever liked him, walk away, never look back. That’s what a hundred angry pop songs and everything I’ve ever learned about abuse tell me. But it doesn’t work like that when you’re not dating anymore, when you’ve committed, when you’re still in love, when he’s only listened to your every word ever since.

At least, if he was abusive, I’d like to believe I’d walk away. But this happened once. He was drunk. He’s sworn off drunk sex and sworn never to do it again.

It’s just not a thing that I thought could ever happen. A guy is good, or isn’t, and that’s it. And I married a good guy. And then he did this to me.

I still don’t know what the ‘correct’ thing to do is . How do I be a strong woman and stay with him? Am I being a pushover and making a mistake? And yet, he’s my life. I love him. We have a life together that I love.

Forgiveness isn’t in the cultural narrative. And for most people, it’s probably irrelevant. But we don’t talk about forgiveness enough. Some people are dangerous and you have to cut all ties and move away. And sometimes people make mistakes.

Believe me, I have my eyes open now. If this ever turns into a pattern, Ill talk, I’ll leave, I’ll figure something out.

But for now….I’ve forgiven him. And I hope dear G-d that that was the right thing to do. It happened a while ago and I still wonder sometimes, should I have left? Should I leave now? Will he ever do it again? Am I just being hopelessly naive?

And then I look at him. With that one horrible drunk exception, he’s respectful and hard working and kind and supportive and everything I ever wanted.

So I stay. And we communicate. And I tell the internet because if I told a soul we actually know it could destroy everything. And I just hope that I’m doing right. And I hope, maybe, this can help someone else. I don’t know.

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11 Comments

  1. Miriam March 14, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    You are so wise. Somehow, you make it so clear that the only way to be OK is to follow your instincts… that it’s the only way to get past the ‘supposed to’s and the ‘correctness’ of outside expectations. No matter where you find yourself.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous March 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Please don’t feel guilty or doubt yourself for staying. You know who your husband is. He made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. He was drunk. It is not an excuse but he clearly was not in the right frame of mind. This is actually the reason why in halacha a couple cannot have sex if one or both partners are drunk. Being drunk means that the person is not aware and conscious of what is happening, and one must be to be intimate. From all of the times that women stayed in abusive relationships, the narrative is that you must be strong and leave when something happens. But you are not in an abusive marriage. From what you describe, you are in a loving marriage, with a loving man, that made a really bad mistake. And he has tried to do right, and regain your trust and ask for your forgiveness. It takes strength to forgive. And that is what you are doing. So move forward and don’t judge yourself and don’t question yourself for doing what is right for you. And hopefully you will never, ever have to face this situation again and it will remain a terrible mistake that you chose to forgive and move past.

    Reply
    1. OP March 14, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      Thank you. Thats very validating.

      Reply
  3. Elad Nehorai March 14, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I am no expert in this, so please take what I say with a grain of salt. But if you are sure you want to stay with him, please please please go to therapy with him. A promise is not enough. There needs to be action to accompany it. Not just staying away from drinking, but digger deeping.

    Please also do it for yourself. If you are holding it in and writing pieces for us here, then I assume this is still eating at you. It is so important that you process this with an expert. You are not alone, and there are so many resources out there to help you.

    I will be davening for you. Thank you so much for bravely sharing this complicated and painful story.

    Reply
    1. Tzippy March 14, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      This is exactly what I was going to point out too. Going to therapy is the onkt way I would feel comfortable staying. And I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. Clearly you have a loving marriage. And your husband realizing his mistake.

      But, the issue is that this wasn’t just rape, it’s like you said, a most hurtful breach of trust there is. That’s bigger than an I’m sorry and some promises not to ever do it again. That needs some serious reflection and delving into one’s emotions and psyche to figure out where it came from. What they control issue stems from and why it was able to come out to manifest thru rape while he was intoxicated.

      Otherwise it will come out agaun. Maybe not for a long, long time. Maybe not they rape. But whether it be a sexual problem he’s dealing with or if it’s something else that caused this extreme need to control you in this semi violent way. And if yiu ask any of who have been married for some time I think we’d all agree that when this comes out agaun it’s going to be worse. Dealing with this now may just save your future marriage as well as your dignity and self worth.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous April 25, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you

    Reply
  5. Anonymous June 25, 2018 at 2:02 am

    I told my husband no three times and he climbed on top of me and did it anyway. My therapist said I created an culture of saying no but not following through, so I guess he didn’t mean to rape me but I was raped. I have sexual aversion now, being touched makes my chest tight and I feel sick to my stomach, and I can only assume it’s related to that incident.

    I’m so sorry for what was done to you and that you are in such a difficult situation, support-wise especially. I tried to not tell anyone for months and ended up having panic attacks, outbursts, even getting black out drunk despite never drinking previously, so I eventually told my mother. Others have spoken of counseling, possibly couples counseling, and it really sounds like a healthy idea.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s an isolating experience and I appreciate your openness so I can see that I’m not alone. I wish you the best in navigating such uncertain paths and hope you feel safe and happy. Please take care of yourself!

    Reply
  6. Anon August 8, 2018 at 7:09 am

    It happened to me too after our son was born. I was in a lot of pain and told my husband sex would be to painful but he carried on anyway. I stayed with him and it was an isolated incident but it still torments me more than 30 years on. Also I could never divulge this to family so until now I told no one.
    Keep strong.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous August 15, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    This happened to me. I was raped by my husband 4 years ago. I forgot what happened or what was said during sex but I retracted consent and said I didn’t want to have sex anymore, I was no longer into it. He laughed and said, “oh no you don’t, I still get to get off”. He turned me around and continued to penetrate me. I told him “I really don’t want to, I pretty sure this is rape” and he said “it’s not rape if you’re married” he giggled and I may have even reciprocated a giggle but I didn’t even pretend to be into it. Instead I remember freezing. I felt numb. I thought to myself “I don’t want this. Is this what it’s like to be raped?” I denied to myself that it was rape, that it was my wifely duty to satisfy him.

    I scrubbed it out of my memory. I’ve suppressed a lot of things in my body. For the last 3 years, I’ve experienced pain during and after sex. A year ago I wanted to leave my husband but I didn’t know why and I admitted that I was depressed (and had been for a while). Over the last year I’ve been receiving body work, energy work, and craniosacral therapy. I could feel how much tension I was holding, in my belly, uterus, and pelvic floor. I avoided the area, my therapist asked me why my uterus was trembling. I didn’t want to know the answer.
    However, with yoga and meditation, I’ve been trying to listen to my body more. This morning I woke up to my husband dry humping me. I could feel myself and my uterus tense up. I couldn’t remember the last time I actually wanted to have sex. Later in the day I meditated and the memory came up. Saying the words outloud “I was raped”, I had the biggest emotional release possibly in my life. I cried, I vomited. I feel a huge relief. I finally have more love for myself and understanding of myself. However now, I have anger for my husband who has been a loving and supportive partner despite this incident. I know he would be crushed if I told him he raped me. He would feel so ashamed. Both of his grandfathers were not good men and molested their own daughters. He would label himself a “rapist” and live with guilt and shame. What if we can’t get through this? The thought of hugging him when he gets home makes me sick to my stomach. Help.

    Reply
    1. anon. October 23, 2018 at 12:30 am

      I wish there was a safe place to have a conversation about this with others who had similar experiences. Me too.. and I’m really struggling. Perhaps the moderator can help connect…

      Reply
  8. Kasey October 12, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Something similar has just happened to me. I am so lost.

    Several years ago I was raped and sodomised while travelling the UK, I was medicated and in therapy for years. Until my knight in shining armour came along, he was patient and kind and thoughtful and above all loved me unconditionally. When we where about to move in together I explained what had happened to me, he then confessed he had been sexually assaulted by his father as a child, I guess we ended up forming a deeper connection because of our traumas.

    We moved in together, got married, had two beautiful children. He remained as kind and as generous as ever, always surprising me with flowers, telling me how much he loved me, and was incredibly hands on with the kids.

    We actually have a very active sex life, almost daily and sometimes twice a day. I am attracted to him in every possible way, and have always been open to trying everything…excluding anal. He would ask multiple times and I would always say “no, and you know why, don’t ask again, anything but that! “….but it wouldn’t be long until he asked/begged again.

    About a year after our firstborn was born we went out for the night and I got extremely drunk, when we got home where we proceeded to have sex, which quickly turned into anal sex. I remember saying “no, not that! ” but he kept going. Afterwards I was so confused, was I raped? Did I like it? I think I did, so surely I wasn’t raped? Looking back I can recognise It was something I would NEVER have agreed to, had I been completely sober. So I guess I can call that rape #1.

    Fast forward a few more years and another baby, he still remains a wonderful husband, my biggest support, my families provider and my best friend… Yet underneath that he would still will hassle me for sex, if I’m not in the mood (which isn’t all that often) and after he asked me about 10 times, I always give in… I have since learned this is coerced consent. Is everytime I was coerced, was I actually being raped?

    Last week, he raped me again, in a way that left no doubt. I told him no, again, and again, I told him he was hurting me. He eventually stopped when I finally was able to do more than just plead for it to stop, and moved away. He instantly looked at me in shock, he couldn’t believe what he had done. He told me to call the police on him, I told him he would loose his job, his kids, his wife, his family, his friends. He said “so be it”……I couldn’t do it.

    Am I weak for staying?, for loving him? for believing it is to do with his past trauma? That despite all this, he remains the best man I know? I promised in sickness and in health, I didn’t say “I do” I said “I will”…. I will love him, even when the worst of him is present. Unconditionally it seems. I can tell no one, I can take no comfort from anyone else, except from the person who raped me.

    He is now taking online behaviour management courses and counselling. He is still kind, generous and loving. But he is STILL my rapist.

    Reply

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