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. I’m 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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  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.

  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.

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

      Thank you. Thats very validating.

  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.

    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.

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

    Thank you

  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!

  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.

    1. Chava December 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      I feel for you. It would be worth your while to talk to a therapist and to HIM about it. Not healthy to harbor such a negative feeling for so long. You’re marriage needs to be built on open communication and trust. Good luck!

  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.

    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…

    2. Chava December 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      I feel for you… talk to him about how you feel. So important for your emotional wellbeing. Get professional counseling for both of you

  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.

    1. Anonymous March 25, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      thank you. so much.

  9. M February 22, 2019 at 1:42 am

    Reading all these posts is both heartbreaking and comforting… The fact that so many women have experienced assualt at the hands of their partner is horrific. But to know that we are not alone and experience these emotions together brings me some peace. My boyfriend raped me two years ago.. I had honestly kind of brushed it off at the time because we were both drunk, but I know I said “no, don’t” ann d he did it anyways. I was sodomized against my will and it was the one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced. The morning after he asked if I was okay and I told him if he ever did that again I wouldn’t leave him immediately, he promised he never would. Part of me feels like I shouldve left him that day but I loved him so much and still do. I’ve had a history of abusive relationships, and he was a safe haven for me and not abusive in the slightest. Thats why this was so hard and confusing. The person I trusted the most ended up being the person that raped me. But it wasn’t malicious and it wasn’t to hurt me, not really. We’re still together and I’m happy about that but sometimes I remember that night and feel so awful about it.. I forgive him but I can never forget, and I wish I could.

  10. Rosie March 29, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Having started reading online about rape by partners I am so sad to discover how common it is but also I feel a little less ashamed of myself for “letting” this happen. My (now ex) partner of 15 years also raped me. We had been out drinking with friends, I had drunk way too much to the point of vomiting and needing help walking. When we got home he wanted sex. I told him I was too drunk, not in the mood, and said no several times but he continued. Like others on here I just wanted it to be over quickly and for the pain to stop so I just lay there and let him. He then rolled over and went to sleep while I sobbed in the shower. The next day when we were sober I told him I was bruised and I was too sore to sit. He asked “bruised?” in a surprised way. I reminded him that I told him I wasn’t in the mood. He rolled his eyes and walked off. I was too scared of him becoming moody and emotionally withdrawing from me (a feature of our relationship) and so didn’t mention it again. For that I feel pathetic. That was 5 years ago. I thought I had forgiven him despite him never acknowledging what he had done or asking for forgiveness. 6 months ago he left me without warning. The main reasons he gave revolved around money, he earned more than me. I cannot express how gruelling it feels to be left by someone who raped me and to be given such trivial reasons when I loved him despite being raped by him. If I could go back in time I would have done my self esteem a favour and left him straight away. That is my advice to the author of this article and anyone else who has experienced this. It is only in recent months I have accepted that what he did was rape. I did confront him about that night after he left me and said it had been playing on my mind and I needed to “get it off my chest”. He claimed not to remember. I have no way of knowing if that is true nor if it is more hurtful that he would lie or that it meant so little to him that he didn’t remember. He asked if I was accusing him of rape and I stupidly responded “I wouldn’t call it rape, we had both drunk so much that judgements were affected”. I justified his actions for him. I don’t know why. I hadn’t forgiven him as I hadn’t allowed myself to fully acknowledge and reflect on what had happened. I now understand the saying ‘love is blind’. I am now realising that while that night was the worst encounter it was not in isolation, on multiple occasions he used the fear of moodiness to coerce me to have sex. The strange thing is if you had asked me a year ago I would have told you I loved him, I was lucky to have him, we were completely compatible and that I was happily married. Only now that I am free from loving him can I begin to reflect on what happened and how destructive that pattern of behaviour was for me. Now I need to find forgiveness for him and myself so that I can stop going over and over this in my mind and move forward without shame. Any suggestions on how to do that greatly appreciated!

  11. Anon May 8, 2019 at 7:12 am

    i came here because my boyfriend just raped me and i’m so confused. he also isn’t abusive , i believe it was a one time mistake and i still love him but i’m not sure how to move forward.. i don’t think he understood what he was doing at the time and once i told him how i felt about it he got really upset with himself. but this is my best friend in the whole world and leaving him isn’t something easy or even something i want to do . but i don’t know how my mind will be affected or if it will be too traumatic to carry on .. we aren’t married so there’s no commitment but that doesn’t make the love any less . i can’t tell anyone because they won’t understand.

    1. Anonymous May 11, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      This just happened to me too

    2. Rosie May 24, 2019 at 7:35 am

      I cannot recommend more strongly that you leave him. I completely understand how you feel, I didn’t leave my husband and it did negatively affect my self esteem in the way you suspect it will yours. I would also have said my partner wasn’t abusive and would have described him as my best friend but with the benefit of hindsight and having been out of the relationship for 6 months I can now see that act of rape was very abusive and deeply degraded me. I can see your partner’s response was very different to mine but regardless, you deserve to have a partner that respects your body at all times. Be strong and do not bottle this up!

    3. Anonymous February 16, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Hi, your story is exactly what happened to me a few nights ago and I don’t know what to do. Did you stay with your boyfriend? If so how are things now?

    4. Anonymous February 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm

      Hi, your story is exactly what happened to me a few nights ago. My boyfriend was confused and I know he loves me a lot but I also know that he technically raped me. Do you have any updates you could share? Did you stay?

  12. Sarena May 30, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Your story is my own. My story is yours. I absolutely feel and ache in all the same ways. (((Hugs))) to us both. To us all. #metoo

  13. Anonymous June 4, 2019 at 12:29 am

    3 years ago I believe I was raped by my husband as well… he came home from work and I was tired, trying to take a nap. He started to get on top of me and dry humping me and I said “no I’m tired.” He ignored me and started pulling my shorts down while I held them up telling him to stop and that I was tired. He started to penetrate me and I didnt want to feel like my own husband, the guy I loved and fought to be with so hard, was raping me so I just let it happen. The next day, it happened again. After that I stopped fighting it because I didnt want to feel that my husband was raping me. I justified his actions by telling myself I didnt fight hard enough so I shouldn’t consider it rape. Just a couple months ago I brought it up to him and how much it hurt me, he apologized and said he was sorry and doesnt know why he did that. Now that i feel like I’m recognizing it as “rape” the hurt is real and it makes me wonder if I should even be with him still. He plays video games nonstop, he talks down to me. He’s unaffectionate, and very tacky with his comments. For example, my grandfather just died last month, the first person I ever saw die and we were very close. My grandfather is laying on the ground, hasnt even been dead for an hour yet and my husband just whispers to me, “hey babe, I got a win in fortnite last night.” I feel like I do still love him, but for 4 years I haven’t felt any love back. but now other men are showing interest in me and it makes me wonder, “do I still have to be with this guy who raped me and is very cold to me? Or can I be with someone that actually loves me and wouldn’t want to hurt me?” I don’t know what to do. I’m sorry for the long post but I don’t know who to turn to.

    1. Anonymous July 5, 2019 at 11:58 pm

      It doesn’t sound like he loves you. You said he’s unaffectionate, and tactless in a time that you were very sensitive. That’s definitely not the consideration of a person who loves you, nor is it the care that you seem to need.
      You never *have* to be with someone. You can break off the relationship and move forward, find someone who treats you with respect, who is affectionate, who is actually deserving of your love. You sound like a very loving person, just please think it through and make sure your love is directed at someone who can and will reciprocate in the ways that you need them to.

  14. Anonymous June 23, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Leave him. A cold and careless relationship will never have a future. In a normal relationship I would first encourage you to be as open as possible and go to theraphy to see how he acknowledge your hurtful feeelings and see if he changes, but in your case there were not one but many rapes. One of the worst problems of having to deal with an abuse situation in a relationshp is the lack of empathy from the abuser. There is a dehumanisation from his part and that is clearly a dealbreaker for the relationship. He may not rape you again but the cold and mean comments are going to continue being a part of your relationship if you don´t do something. Is obvious that you cannot continue to put up with this situation. And when he said that he didn’t know why he did that, he was lying. There is always a reason why someone would make something that horrible. You don’t commit a crime just becose you can.

  15. Anon July 22, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    The same thing happened to me, a couple nights ago. Im super confused and torn on what to do. I can’t get it out of my mind. We were drinking and I was very tired so we both laid down. He began to touch me and penetrate me, and when I asked what he was doing he said he was trying to sleep and I should too. Eventually he started having sex with me in which I said I didn’t want to and that I didn’t feel well. It continued until he oulled me onto him and I finally freaked and pushed myself off, pushing on his rib and hurting him. He started freaking out and crying because of the pain to which I just laid down because I was so tired and buzzed. He yelled at me and kicked me. I ran to the bathroom and began to vomit. He came and held my hair rubbed my back. I asked what had happened he lied to me saying it was consensual in his lie. Lied to me several times until last night in which I confronted him telling him I remembered what happened and he lied to me. He said he was scared to lose me and he couldn’t believe he did that. Other than this our relationship has been great. I don’t know what to do. Do I leave? Stay? Maybe go on a break for a while??

  16. Amy July 27, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    It happened to me, oh god! That’s why I’m here reading all your stories. It tears me apart inside and I have no one to talk about it to. I’m living with the one true love of my life. Who raped me when we were previously together 24 years ago. Why am I so fucked up that I would choose to be with the person that raped me? I don’t think I have forgiven. I thought I had but I can’t. But it seems I can disassociate like a pro. I feel very trapped, like I can’t split up for his sake as he left his home and town etc to come back to me. I am trying not to hate myself for staying and living with my rapist. I’m also scared to be alone. Which I never thought I was until just now! Just realised this now. But my main reason for staying is we get on so well. I can relax with him and be myself like I’ve never been able to with anyone else. I’m 51. We are both abuse survivors. He is like a soul mate. He never pressures me to do anything and he loves me and feels beyond evil for that drunken and high night 24 years ago. I think I feel scared I would never meet someone who I can relax with and feel safe with like I can with him. But yet he raped me all those years ago. None of it makes sense. It’s so screwed up. Thank you for making me feel less alone x

  17. Jasmin Vuoristo August 20, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    This is me right now. I got raped too. Same way. Not violence but it was a rape. He didnt listen to me telling to stop, he didnt care. And now, almost month ago, i still love him. I want be with him. So i want to forget and be with him. But can i? I dont know, i dont want this happen ever again. But still its always inside my mind and heart. Im broken but i feel only he can fix me. I dont know.

  18. Madison August 26, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    This happened to me with my boyfriend. I told him no multiple times but it happened anyway. It’s embarassing to say, but we have a dominant/submissive relationship so at the time he was playing into it and I guess didn’t realize what he was doing. I guess that may sound like an excuse but I have to justify it in my head to be okay with it. We broke up after it happened and I told several people because I couldn’t keep it a secret, but we have since gotten back together and he has expressed guilt. I genuinely believe that he did not mean to do it and so now I have guilty telling people that he raped me. Crazy logic? I don’t know. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that it was rape because I did not give consent but then understand it from his point of view as well. It was the only time it ever happened out of our whole relationship and I believe that it will never happen again. Unfortunatley, rape and sexual assault is not black and white. Thank you for this post I thought I was alone.

  19. Stacey September 6, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    This was the only article I could find that addressed my situation. My husband wasn’t drunk, he just ignored me as I told him to stop over and over. We had a fight and I didn’t want to get ‘in the mood’ so it just took it. Not violently, just…. held me down and did what he wanted. It’s been two year with no reoccurrences but I still despise him deep down. I don’t want a divorce either but how to get past these feelings are beyond me. Life is sometimes complicated and your hero is sometimes your villain.

  20. Tina September 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I had a similar situation and this article really helped me. When my boyfriend and I got together over a year ago, we both got really drunk. We were just fooling around in bed, but I had only ever been with 1 person before him so I wanted our first time to be special. It was all a huge blur, but I remember that it happened so fast I couldnt even process it. One moment we were just kissing, and the next he was on top of me. It happened so fast, I didn’t even understand what was happening. I didn’t get a chance to tell him to stop before he jumped off me. He didn’t “finish” but I still felt so dirty. I felt ashamed at myself and kept it inside. He’s an amazing boyfriend and I am so in love with him. I pushed that memory away for a long time. I didnt talk to him about it. I didnt feel comfortable, like I was making him a villain when I know he didnt mean to hurt me. We eventually had sex after that, which is what I felt our “real” first time together was. But that memory kept popping up and eating at me. I did confront him about it (after reading this article). I told him flat out that he sexually assaulted me. He didn’t really remember it, due to his drunk-ness at the time. But he apologized. He held me and told me that he shouldnt have put me through that. I believe him. I havent forgive him yet, but I know I will. I am trusting my instincts as you have, and everything about this man is amazing. I eventually will tell my therapist about it too when I see her next. I cant tell anyone else. My family would hate him if they knew. They would judge me for staying. But I understand he made a mistake. I know he loves me. He’s never once lied to me. He’s not abusive. He’s never once curse at me or hit me. We have issues in our relationship, but nothing that is abuse or cheating related. We get along so well. Telling my therapist will be a big step to help me heal. This article really helped me. Thank you so much for sharing, for everyone in the comments too. I read all of your stories and I dont feel alone anymore. I dont feel stupid anymore for staying. I made a choice because I know that, despite this, the best version of my life right now includes him. I am able to choose him without compromising my happiness. I trust myself enough to not regret my choice.

  21. Anonymous September 16, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I’ve reread this article and all the comments countless times. My journey has been a long one and I know I still have a long ways to go. My truth is complicated at best, but I hope maybe it can help someone seek help far sooner than I ever did and spare some of the heartache that has followed. My husband (soon to be ex, I think) and I have been together since we were sixteen. Our three year wedding anniversary is tomorrow. This man is the furthest thing from evil, and yet what I write would only make others associate him as such. It is part of the reason it has taken me eleven years to come to this point. The sexual abuse started before we even started having sex. For him, physical was how he showed love. For me, I just wanted to keep him happy (I grew up with an alcoholic father and avoided conflict endlessly). We would fight about me feeling like everything had to lead to physical, but nothing ever changed. Our first time having sex was done out of me giving in. I got tired of fighting about wanting to wait and felt so guilty that he thought I didn’t love him because I didn’t want to go all the way. Fast forward three years, two different colleges, lots of communication problems and a slew of other issues, we had made it to his 21st birthday. He was drunk. I was sober. I don’t remember anything in detail and up until last week, had always thought I never said “no” (he recently told me I did say no, twice, before he stopped). It wasn’t violent or long, but it was not asked for or planned or even eluded to that I wanted to engage in sex (I was in the bathroom washing my hands when he came in).Part of me also thinks something else happened later that night, but again I don’t remember specifics on this either. I didn’t tell anyone (until recently). I confronted him on it a few days later, but it wasn’t something he meant to do so I just dropped it. I love this man and maybe I could have saved this if I sought help then. But six more years have passed and it got to a point where I would closet drink (not a good thing with my family past) in the hopes to get myself relaxed enough that I would be in the mood for him when he got home. Besides that night, he has never forced himself on me, but I have always known that physical is what he needed to ultimately feel my love. I am a pleaser by nature, so I constantly worried and carried around this weight of wondering if it has been too long since we did it last. I’ve been in therapy for 9 months now and I bet I’ll be in it for another 9. The guilt I feel for walking away from a man I would do anything for is consuming. But I know that I cannot keep putting myself in this environment. That if I do, there is no chance for me to ever heal. I will always cave to him sexually out of a desire to make him feel my love. So for the women who say they wish to stay, because he is a good man, I understand. But please, seek out help. Heal. It doesn’t matter if it seems insignificant now, it can grow into something far worse if you try to lock it behind closed door after closed door.

  22. Delilah November 10, 2019 at 12:57 am

    I never recognized I was raped by my husband until it happened a second time. In the first year of our marriage, during sex, he penetrated me anally without a warning or even asking. We had never even discussed it. I was super against it because it’s sodomy, and he kind of knew that but once again, never formally discussed it. It hurt so bad. He didn’t even use lube. I screamed and pushed away and ran into the bathroom where I bled and cried. He felt awful about it, apologized profusely for days and I refused to ever think about it again. But ever since then I struggled to have sex. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to it, and he’d get extremely depressed because he feels loved through physical affection. Over time, he got whinier. I found out recently some of the things he would do fall under coerced consent. But recently, he convinced me to have sex when I didn’t want to and I couldn’t hide on my face how much I just didn’t want to have sex. So I asked him to stop in the middle of sex, which I’ve never done before. He got upset and begged me to let him finish. I said no, it didn’t feel good and was starting to hurt. He continued to plead and get more upset. I realized he wasn’t going to accept no as an answer- he would beg and whine until I gave in or make me miserable and never let me live it down. We were on a trip, too, so he’d pout all day and bring it up constantly like he’s done in the past when I rejected sex. So I gave in. I felt numb, nauseous and like I was going to cry. I didn’t understand why. Now I know it’s because HE knew I didn’t want it but he did it anyways. The man who is supposed to care for and protect me was violating me openly. After he finished, I went to the bathroom and cried quietly. I didn’t want him to feel bad. Several days later I realized it was rape and I confronted him. He wouldn’t say the word but he acknowledged it. We’re in marriage counseling now, but I can’t tell anyone and it’s killing me. Not to mention, now he’s suicidal and depressed and I’m struggling to not feel guilty and responsible for him feeling this way. Looking back, there are so many incidents between us that were even worse than this. And yet I don’t want to leave him. How do you explain that to someone? I can’t even tell my own mother. I can’t receive comfort and it’s making me ill. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep- I’m hoping therapy helps but I feel like I’m being torn apart.

    1. Sara J December 1, 2019 at 2:15 am

      This is the first time I have found an online forum where other people are sharing about their stories about experiencing and still living with their rapist partner or spouse. I’ve been married 16 years and accepted in the last year or so that I was sexually abused and raped by my husband, who I’m still married to now. I was in denial for many years even with direct violations and him sexually exploiting me. He is a sex addict and has been in recovery for the past year, that is the main reason I’m still with him but also we have 2 children and I have not wanted to break up the family. He has raped me for years, watched porn and would take videos of my private parts while I was sleeping while he would grope me. I found videos of this several years ago and still didnt wake up until our daughter was traumatized when she discovered porn on his phone and realized his voueyerist activities. I filed for separation but stayed with him as he has been doing a lot of recovery work, however has left me extremely traumatized with ptsd, along with our daughter who hates his guts and suffers with extreme anxiety. He is trying to make amends and reconcile however I dont know if there is any hope, I love him but I dont think I’ll ever feel fully safe around him, I’ve suffered from severe depression most of our marriage and have such a severe sexual aversion I cannot be touched by him at all even for any affection without making me anxious, fearful and frozen. I’ve become numb in our relationship and our kids have suffered so much already. Our family has been in intense counseling and marriage therapy, but I dont know if I’ll be able to ever recover and make our marriage work. Thank you for sharing and listening to my story.

  23. SE13 November 28, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    This post has helped me so much.

    My husband raped me in my sleep while I drunkenly passed out last month. And I can’t forgive or forget.

    As a result I left him straight away, and I’m not going to lie I found a shoulder to cry on with my best friend who’s a guy. We fooled around but never went the whole way.

    I got back with husband because I do love him, and I want our family to work but I can’t get over the fact that essentially he raped me.

    I passed out drunk and woke up to him having sex with me. Told him no and to stop and he carried on anyway. We’d had a big argument earlier in the night so when I was sober and confronted him he said he didn’t think my no was serious and he was just trying to be close to me… Which I don’t think I believe considering he has a high sex drive and I have a very low one and sex is painful for me so he knows that I wouldn’t have been up for it.

    So now we’re back together and he knows about my friend. He’s now very very controlling which is understandable but I feel so isolated because of the control, because of the rape. He’s trying to find ways to bug my phone and retrieve deleted messages. He’s going through my phone constant. Wants to know my every move.

    I literally have nobody to talk to anymore about anything going on and I can feel myself falling into depression fast. I can’t talk to my best friend anymore because of what happened with him so I feel so lost and isolated.

    I want my marriage to work, and I want us to be happy and our children happy but where do I go from here?

    This is the first time I’ve been able to start getting things off my chest and I’ve just realised how bad things are

  24. Mckenzie Harrington November 29, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    This happened to me. I found out be was trying to cheat on me and confronted him. He got angry I looked at his phone and raped me. I took a day before he vowed to never do it again. We just had a baby girl and I didn’t feel like I could leave, so here I am wanting to forgive him wondering if it’s possible.

  25. Ally December 2, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    I am so grateful for this post and the comments. I am so torn up inside. I was with my boyfriend for the holidah weekend and we were having a lovely time. He has been nothing but utterly devoted and loving towards me.

    We were making love, and I said I wanted to take a break. He said “no tapping out” and kept going for what felt like forever but was probably a minute or less.

    I was stunned. I didnt fight back. I just layed there, trying to enjoy myself despite the fact that I didnt want it. I couldnt. It felt awful.

    Afterwards, I told him that it was messed up. What he did was wrong. He got upset and was profusely apologetic. I told him I needed to go home right away. He begged me not to leave. I did.

    My initial reaction and what I ultimately did was to break up with him. But I am so sad and torn up about doing so. I love him still, and wish that we were still together. This page has helped me to realize that it’s ok to feel this way.

  26. Extremely Sad December 8, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    I wonder how many women read this and just leave, without leaving a comment cause it’s to painful to even write about it or because it’s the same story over and over… That hurts even more. Why we should suffer in silence? Why do I wait my husband to leave so I can cry? Why do I have to feel terrified when he touches me since that day? Why did I have to loose my sexual life because of him? I feel dead inside. I used to enjoy sex, now it’s something other people do. And I am still in my 30s. I am so so sad. I am waiting for death, that’s all I do. Why do men, even the ones that seem to be honest and good, hurt us like this?

  27. Recovering January 8, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    I was raped by my husband several times during the past 13 years we’ve been together. I tried to forgive him and even went through counseling. He tried to justify the rape any way he could. I finally left, files a protective order, and a divorce. Now that I have been away from him the past month, I have been feeling so much relief. I never knew how much of a destructive relationship we had until now. When you’re trying to work it out, you’re technically blind to all the red flags… trust me ladies. Do yourself a favor and leave while you can. I wish I would’ve left the first time he raped me. You will never heal until you’re away from your abuser.

  28. Merk January 31, 2020 at 1:45 am

    I know I’m coming in here a few years after this post was created, but funny enough…right around the same time too. My husband was very sweet, nice, all of what was said by others. He had been a abusive a few times. This was corrected and we also found out he had bipolar. Bipolar is a really hard thing to deal with and his is mild (very light) at best. It only seems to spring up during really stressful or intense situations. And when your bipolar, you can feel two things at once. Even love and hate I’ve heard. I’ve done vast research on it now knowing all of what it is. So I was raped twice, but I don’t ever count the first one really. Why? Well, I’d always play the “no” game where I’d pretend I didn’t want it…except this time I really didn’t want it, and he became frustrated with me after he was done because he said “ I thought you were just playing around. I didn’t know you didn’t actually want it.” That one, although it DID affect me some, I gave a pass on because I don’t think he knew what he was doing. We are also sexually active—or I should say were—we’ve kinda been more stagnant because of work and kids. But we’d have sex everyday usually at least twice a day. Right after I had my second kid, I wasn’t supposed to have sex yet. I was in pain and I was severely tired (sleep deprived). I told him no. We were on the couch. He said he was sorry. But he kept going….I remember he kept saying sorry and at one point asked me to forgive him…I didn’t say anything. By this point, I just kinda had gone limp. Trying to picture I was somewhere else, trying to focus on no pain, when there was pain. I know he was sorry. It’s been a year since that’s happened, and in the 5 years I’ve known him, that was the only time. I obviously get panick attacks, my mood changed, I was more angry and mean in fights with him and my vocabulary took a bad turn. I’d blank out sometimes. Sex doesn’t feel the same, I don’t have the same desires….

    Here’s the thing ladies, no we don’t want to destroy our husbands lives but if we DONT say anything, won’t it just keep happening? To other women? To other men who maybe were taught it was just okay once u were married? Or just made a mistake because they didn’t think it through? It is because they don’t cover this stuff. They don’t sit the boy down in church and say, okay once your married, if ur wife says no at any point, you NEED to listen or you will destroy apart of her that you will not be able to get back.

    But maybe that needs to be said. Maybe more voices NEED to speak out. And if you can’t I get that…heck I’m still trying to figure out if I can or not….but I do feel in my heart that it’s the right thing to do to try n help young men n women to not make the same mistakes…

  29. Mercedes January 31, 2020 at 2:02 am

    We both have high sex drives and have a love language through touch so that’s the only thing I can’t really relate to with some of the others on that…but I can relate to that afterwards…what’s weird is like when my toddlers try to crowd me I need personal space, when my husband tries to touch me sometimes I’m that way too and I was never a “personal space” person :/, also my sex drive is not as high as it was. He does also struggle with depression n such too so I find it hard to leave him or whatnot. He knew it was wrong though. I even told him right after it happened that he basically raped me. He was sorry, but that IS what happened. It just slowly kills you inside and I didn’t acknowledge it after I even said it for like a year. And I still go through phases where I’m like trying to convince myself it didn’t. But guess what? The psychological effects stay and they ARE the proof. You can’t force those kind of things on yourself to be psychologically damaged…in fact most people try to forget n then they look at their own damage and they then say oh yeah guess I was damaged…time to pick up the pieces now…somehow. I love mine a lot too. And it’s easy to make the excuses for him. Especially since he has a chemical imbalance in his brain that he cannot Control….but still. Still. It’s like Lord…what is it that I do with this? With myself? …we are doing a marriage book and as soon as we can afford it…we are gonna do marriage counseling as well.

  30. Merk/Mercedes January 31, 2020 at 2:04 am

    I am both of these names just to clarify sorry about that. I posted this late because I was writing out the note to myself of why I should leave my husband for raping me. For allowing myself to become a statistic. An improbable one at that, but still.

  31. Anonymous February 9, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    All you ladies are amazing for sharing your stories. I am grateful that I dont feel so alone. I am also sad that I dont feel so alone. I was married for 10 years. I was sexually assaulted pretty much every single night. I was raped twice. Weirdly, this is the first time I’ve ever admitted that. And even more weirdly that none of that really brought about my devorice. Anyway, my ex-husband had an anal fetish and I definitely do not. “Foreplay” consisted of him asking to stick it in my butt. Not exactly the biggest turn on but I wouldnt dare bring out the lube for fear he’d think he was getting his way. So those were my two choices: suffer through dry sex or take it in the butt. We were on vacation once and it “slipped.” Told him to stop and he didnt. No extra lube and he just kept going. He said he was almost done. Well he did what he needed to do and then we went to bed. I NEVER blamed him. I NEVER told anyone. And until after the devorice I NEVER even knew I was raped. Let alone twice!!!!

    I feel for all of you worthy beautiful ladies. There are so many of us dealing with this sick twisted issue of marital rape and just trying to struggle through the emotions of it while hiding it from people close to us. I know can never tell anyone what he did to me. And I’m not even with the man anymore but I’m still protecting him. I just want to share something I read on another website about this messed up situation. Hopefully it gives you some hope.

    “Just because I said I do, it doesn’t mean I said yes.”

  32. Anonymous February 18, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    This is something I have dealt with too. My heart broke seeing these stories but I do feel less alone now. I started a Facebook group called YANAH please join if you’re experiencing similar things and just want someone else to talk to that understands. I built in questions to screen and make it so only legit people join- and it will be a private group. I chose YANAH as an abbreviation for “you are not alone here”

    Sending love all of your way!

  33. Hurting February 19, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    I was raped by my husband one week ago and didn’t even know what to call what happened until this article. Both my husband and I knew immediately that was happened was wrong, hurtful, sickening. I can’t forget.

    It devastates me to know that I went from planning and trying to have children with someone to being raped by him. I thought I had my whole life planned with this otherwise gentle, loyal, shy, caring man.

    And now my world has fallen apart…

    I still live with him, we care for our fur-babies, talk daily yet it’s not the same… I can’t be touched, I’m numb, I’m unsure of the future and am scared.

    I know I am capable of forgiveness but worry that things will never be the same.

  34. Anonymous February 22, 2020 at 9:52 am

    My partner raped me last night. I don’t know if it really was rape though. We have been fighting for years now about his constant downloading of porn. We went to couples counseling for the first time yesterday. We started fighting when we got home. He went to bed before me. I crawled in bed after him. He tried to hold me, but I felt so detached from him. We started fighting again. Then he grabbed me and started trying to get on top of me. It took me a second to realize that he was serious. In the past we have had this pattern of behavior. Big fights, really passionate sex afterwards. But I’m not in that head space anymore. I told him no, I don’t want to have sex with you. He just kept saying “I bet you’re wet,” I told him even if I was, I didn’t want to have sex with him. He forced my legs open and got on top of me. I just laid there. Hoping it would be over soon. Wondering if this is what it feels like to be raped? Once he saw that I wasn’t going to respond, he stopped. It felt very violating. There was a part of me that was curious how long he would go without any response from me. I honestly think he thinks I wanted to. Did I? I’ve have had so much sex with him, does it really count as rape when I don’t think he thought I really meant no?

  35. whatsthepoint February 24, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    I married the guy who raped me 3 years ago and now I am miserable in the relationship.
    we were on a trip and we both had had alcohol, I had drank so much that I was falling on the floor (had bruises on my knees the next day and asked him if I fell somewhere, he said yes), he had asked me for anal sex in our 11 month relationship many times but I was scared and had refused, that night we were drunk, making out, turned on, I believe I would have been fine to have regular sex together because thats something I enjoyed, however he turned me around and raped me anally, no lube, no nothing, I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t say anything, I think I was in shock, I was just silently crying, I finally at some point begged him to stop, he started crying, apologizing etc the next morning he told me he was just as drunk as me and didn’t know what he was doing and he was sorry, I didn’t leave,I felt at the time that our lives were already too intertwined to leave, at some point I thought I would int the future, I thought I could never be with him long term because of that, but somehow I have and I got married to him last year, I like to think of myself that I am in control in this relationship, and I am doing what I want and I am choosing this because I need him right now but I cant wait for the day when I will stand up for myself and walk out. I don’t think he is a bad person overall but I don’t think I will ever be happy here.

  36. Kerry Robinson March 1, 2020 at 4:51 am

    This happened to me with alcohol involved. Before we had sex he said in my ear im going to rape you. It wasnt a kind of thing we did role play to nothing like that either. Anyway he carried on but i was sore and told him to stop, he wouldnt, i kept saying it he then got forceful leaving bruses on my body and it ended up me hitting him in the head a few times before he stopped. Then he got of, went downstaires started head butting the wall crying saying what am i some kind of rapist. The next day he said he wont sleep in bed with me he will give me some space. Ever since that ive got it all wrong, he said it wasnt rape and blamed me for messing his head up in the past over sex to why it happened, basically blaming me 🙁

  37. Guinevere March 6, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    My husband is emotionally abusive, and I am saving my money to leave him soon. I have been in therapy for awhile to deal with my abusive childhood and him. Recently, I have been doing really well and feeling like I’ve healed from my past, but a show I watched a few days ago made me realize that my husband raped me years ago, twice actually. I had always felt like something wrong happened but never felt like I could call it rape until now. The first time, I was 18 and a virgin. We had been dating a few weeks. I consented to starting to have sex, but right after he penetrated me, I got scared and changed my mind. I panicked and said “wait” and held up both of my hands in a stop signal and pushed against his chest. He just said “we already started” and kept going. I froze in shock and got silent and don’t remember the rest of it until he finished, rolled away, and went to sleep. I rolled toward the wall, cried, and felt used and sad and confused. The 2nd time was a few years later. We were married and it was a few weeks after our 1st child was born. I had a difficult labor and I tore and had to have stitches. We tried sex after my 6 week checkup but it hurt, plus I had dryness from breastfeeding and was exhausted. He said he was jealous of the baby because I gave her all the attention. Then he started whining and complaining about not having sex. It was causing me so much stress and worry that one time when he got behind me while I was laying on my side in bed trying to sleep, I finally gave in and just laid there not moving, tensed up and in pain with tears running down my face hoping it would be over quickly. I used to think I couldn’t call these incidents rape because I said “wait” instead of “no,” and I didn’t scream or fight. But after looking at RAINN and other websites, I know that you don’t have to say the word no to revoke consent. Saying wait, stop, or any other similar word, pushing him away, going limp and silent, are all clear signs of not consenting. I also know now that sex from harassment, manipulation, and coercion is NOT consensual and is also rape. So, he raped me at least twice. When I realized that, I got really overheated and started almost hyperventilating. I felt disgusted, embarrassed that I stayed, and like I was going to have to run to the bathroom and throw up several times. I told one close friend yesterday, and she asked how I could stay with him. That made me feel stupid and alone, and I think she looks at me differently now. But her husband has been physically abusive, so I don’t see how she can’t understand all the reasons why women stay. I wish I hadn’t told her. I can only talk to my therapist now. I know that because of my childhood, I didn’t expect people to treat me well, I lived in denial to survive, and didn’t have much self-worth or boundaries until recently, but most people don’t get that. I just wish I had realized this years ago. Thank you all for sharing. I am angry that so many women go through this, but I feel a little less alone now. It helps to tell and get it out. I hope everyone can find a wonderful therapist or another avenue to heal and find a life with love and peace.

  38. V March 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    I’m struggling right now with the same thing. I’ve told my fiance multiple times what I don’t enjoy yet he still pushed my boundaries. He doesn’t do it to be malicious and he truly is the most kind loving person. But the times Ive voiced what I don’t like and he still keeps going eats away at me. I want to get over it because I love him so much, but I feel you. Don’t think you’re doing the wrong thing. If it feels right for you, that’s all that matters. Not being able to tell anyone is hard because we want to talk it out but don’t want anyone to change their views on our partner. It’s truly one of the hardest things to do…to live in silence. But do what makes you happy and we will all be happy for you. Cheering you on.

  39. Anonymous March 16, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    First, I was to say I am sorry to all the woman who have shared their stories, I know it wasn’t easy. I am the other side of the story, and it hurts on my side too. Five years ago, after a wedding reception where my wife had too much to drink, I took advantage of her while she was asleep. We had been married for 9 years at the time. She didn’t even know about it until a year later when my guilt and shame overwhelmed me. She said that it didn’t bother her when I let her know then, but now five years later, she has started an affair with another man and says that she also has started having nightmares about the incident. I have loved her with all my heart for the entire 20 years we have been together, but I made one fatal mistake. I wish there was a way to help her get past this. I wish there was a way for me to give her the comfort she needs to know that this would never happen again. But I don’t think she wants that. I am having to accept that giving in to my bases desires that evening is going to cost me the love of my life.


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