When Childhood Sexual Abuse & Violence Impact Marriage

For some time I’ve been contemplating the right time to share about the impact my childhood had on our marriage. Thinking about it gave me writer’s block for a while, so I laid it aside and told first of the journey of healing and forgiveness with my father.

Most of the ‘block’, I presume, is in my hesitance to tell someone else’s story. Even though Tim has given me permission to tell these stories–especially in the book(s) I’m writing–I still am cautious. I live my life and open book, and don’t really know just how it came to be that way, other than I believe it is what God has called me to, but I recognize that this kind of openness feels much more vulnerable for some people. And Tim is one of those people.

Tim is, by nature, reserved, private, calm, peaceful, serious, gentle, kind-hearted and strong. He needs his space, his quiet time, and is easily exhausted by crowds and attention. So for hundreds of people to read about our marriage daily, is a bit more daunting for him than for me. I don’t mind the spotlight, if it is for a good cause, though I don’t much care for it spontaneously. I like to have a plan, a goal and a purpose.

When it comes to sexual abuse, that plan and purpose is always in motion, so to share any part of my journey is nothing to me any more. Ten years ago it was not like that. I still physically trembled most of the time when I referred to it, and felt much more scattered. The purpose was not yet fully defined. As ministry in this area grows, and drawing from my story becomes part of the healing process for others, my fear about sharing has all but disappeared.

Still, I want to be sensitive to Tim, as well as to my audience, to share discretely the things that need to be told. To tell appropriately how abuse affected our marriage as I struggled to come to grips with the violations of the past, while embracing intimacy in marriage, emotionally, physically, sexually and spiritually.

Not everything is appropriate (in my opinion) to share on the internet, that I would share in a book written specifically for adults, and targeting married couples. Because of this, I will not be able portray fully the struggles it caused and how we overcame it, but I will share what is appropriate.

Since I have already received very forthright emails, asking some pretty tough questions, I know that many of you can handle the truth. I welcome questions at any time, if, in my effort to be discrete, what I write is vague, or unclear.

Tim and I have fought hell and high water to have a strong marriage. We have been open, honest and transparent through some ‘inner secrets’ that would have been easier to hide. The hard times, including working through the abuse, and having permission to grieve what I lost, has created a strong bond between us. It has given my heart a safe place and there is nothing and no one in the world that competes with him.

As I share the hard times, including times when he did not know how to be there, I do so with utmost respect for the man he is and for his willingness to work through those things. I hold him in highest honour in my life, next to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.

I have learned to trust him completely, emotionally, physically, sexually and spiritually. He always has my best interest at heart. Even when we go through difficult times, and even when he fails me, I am confident of that one thing. And when I fail him, he knows that I love him. We’re human, and as I share our story, that will be obvious. It is the love and grace of God that have brought us to this place, and we share our story with gratitude to Him for that.

With that I will begin to tell our story, tomorrow….

© Trudy Metzger

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10 thoughts on “When Childhood Sexual Abuse & Violence Impact Marriage

  1. Rebecca Hamilton September 18, 2012 / 12:59 am

    This is an important post. Thank you for your courage with this blog.

  2. Theresa September 18, 2012 / 3:54 pm

    Trudy!!!!! Tomorrow???!!!! I was ready to read today! Looking forward to this….thanks for sharing!!

  3. Fawn September 19, 2012 / 10:20 am

    I am so glad I found your blog. I am only on the verge of dealing with my own past even though I have been working on it for years and now that I am in a very serious relationship with a person I went to spend the rest of my life with, the past comes up in hard and unexpected places.

    • Trudy Metzger September 19, 2012 / 1:48 pm

      Each season of life seems to demand a new level of working through, or at least different angles of working through the pain of the past. My prayer for you both is that it will become a healing bond, as you invite this person into your story. It is difficult, but when shared, the grief has the power to create an unbreakable bond. It is my prayer for you, that greater healing will come through healthy relationship.

      • Fawn September 20, 2012 / 12:46 pm

        Thank you so much for your kind words. I will keep coming back to you and your writing. It is so inspirational.

  4. jritterbrunson September 23, 2012 / 9:41 pm

    In all of the horrible things you have encountered, you are now blessed to have that kind of marriage. I know it has been hard work, very hard. Thank you for being so vulnerable to the world.

    • Trudy Metzger September 25, 2012 / 3:06 pm

      Thank you. Yes, I am blessed! We have worked hard, and have also had many wise friends, for whom we thank God!

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