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Madhatter-husband and sister

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BluerThanBlue posted 12/18/2020 20:47 PM

You saying that your husband has wonderful qualities apart from sexually abusing your sister and his violence and emotional abuse of you is like saying that Lee Harvey Oswald was a great guy, apart from the 1 president that he assassinated.

Most people are not monsters 100% of the time. Ted Bundy was apparently a really loving and fun older brother to his little brother. Idi Amin had a great sense of humor and loved his sons. They were still murderous psychopaths.

I know those are extreme comparisons but the point is this: you canít let his positive qualities cloud your judgment about his character. He is rotten at his core. It doesnít matter if the rest of the fruit is sweet and pleasant looking on the outside.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 8:50 PM, December 18th (Friday)]

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 21:36 PM

Bluer..I had a lot to say in response but I deleted it. I know people here have strong feelings, for good reason. I appreciate your taking the time to comment, and express your opinion. Every bit of reality is what I need it seems.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 21:57 PM

ElleKóthank you, hugs are welcomed. To say I feel alone and completely lacking in trust at this point is an understatement. I have no one anymore that I feel safe with, not even my own family. Itís a terribly lonely and scary place to be.
Thank GOD your Mom heard and protected your sister. I hear so many horrible stories of kids being kept quiet and not believed. I never could have imagined my family would have a starring role in such a story.
Youíre right about being a victim of abuse. I never thought of it that way, how my mindset could become clouded; my thinking and my judgement could be off at times. Maybe because I never thought about myself as a victim, although those things happened to me.
One of the first things I thought when my sister told me was how I could keep him from her. She has told me she doesnít want that. She wants everyoneís lives to go back to some semblance of normal. She has blamed herself and I have repeatedly told her she is not in any way, shape, or form at fault here, he is. This is his fault. Even as mad as I am at my parents, itís not their fault either. They were put in this situation by my husbandís behaviors.
Spoke with husband tonight. He says he told his therapist from day one about the incident but just revealed her age 2 weeks ago.

[This message edited by Unreallife2020 at 9:58 PM, December 18th (Friday)]

Lostgirl410 posted 12/19/2020 02:12 AM

Please find a way to get your sister in IC. Please. Your story has similarities to mine. My daughter's biological father took advantage of my 15 year old baby sister when my daughter was a baby. She still struggles with blaming herself.

So they had developed what I think is like an EA at that point, on his side at least. It wasnít until a few months later that the masturbation thing happened. She says there have been no other incidents of him being inappropriate other than what I have mentioned. Not so much as a strange or inappropriate comment or suggestion even. He never attempted anything else. I really donít think she would be keeping anything from me.

It wasn't an EA. She was being groomed. I won't call him a pedophile because she was likely developed (body changes), but this is ABSOLUTELY the kind of manipulation a sexual predator uses to manipulate, gain control of, and abuse an underage girl. A sexual power play.

It also explains his abuse of you after your affair. The things you describe are degrading, publicly humiliating, and you (especially with your family's blessing) allowing it may have fed his power craving over the helpless, pathetic girl.

You don't need to answer this if you're uncomfortable doing so, but was there a sexual component to his abuse of you after your affair? Any kind of "I could maybe forgive you if you do (insert degrading act)?" Any making himself seem like your very own knight in shining armor while reminding you how unlovable you are to the rest of the world, and insinuating you could "earn" his love again through allowing him to degrade you?

Unreallife2020 posted 12/19/2020 08:18 AM

Lostgirl-so the abuse after my A was on and off for about a week or a month. It's been 11 years so I cant remember the exact time period. That was the only time in our marriage he has acted that way. No there was no sexual component to it. He said he had a nervous breakdown due to my A and because I wasn't acting like a remorseful WS.

His incident with my sister was 9 YEARS before my A. There was no other incidents with him and her in the 20+years we have known eachother.

She started IC at my encouragement about a month ago. She has a lot of other demons she is also unfortunately dealing with as well as this coming out.

[This message edited by Unreallife2020 at 8:19 AM, December 19th (Saturday)]

HellFire posted 12/19/2020 10:04 AM

Ok. I admit this triggered the fuck out of me. But I'm going to say it anyway. Fuck it.

I won't call him a pedophile because she was likely developed (body changes),

Many girls develop early. I had boobs at 11. I didn't get my period until I was 13. When I was 12, my bust size was 36C, and I had a small waist. I had a "womanly figure" as my grandmother said,when she defended her husband. So...when I was ELEVEN..my grandfather did the same thing OP's husband did. He masturbated in front of me. Was he a sexual predator? Hell yes. He was also a pedophile. A girl's body is separate from the actions of a pedophile.

OP..your family kept this from you for years. So the fact that no one came forward means nothing at all.

My grandfather had molested 3 of his stepdaughters, 10 of my 15 cousins (male and female), before the secret came out. No one told,because they thought they were the only ones, and they were scared and ashamed. It didn't come out until my cousin told me it had happened to her,and I realized it wasn't just me,so I told my mom. My mom then told her sisters, and it started to come out. I was 13 when I told. My mom was 33. It was a 40 year old family secret.

Your children are adults. They deserve the truth. Then they can decide if they are comfortable having dad around their children.

The truth is..you don't know if he has done it to anyone else. Or if he will do it to anyone else in the future. What you do know is he has done this with your sister,who was a kid. You need to act on that info.

A lot of people will come up with reasons why she wasnt exactly a kid. I have a 16 year old daughter. She is bright,mature,and has a body like I did when I was that age. She is still very much a kid. Think about your daughter, at the same age as your sister was. And your husband being in his 30's.

Whether you think he is a pedophile, or not. He had a sexual attraction to an underage girl. He acted on that attraction.

I'm sorry. I'm rambling. I am so angry on your behalf. And your sister's.

BluerThanBlue posted 12/19/2020 10:35 AM

Unreallife, did you delete your original post because you realized you were making excuses for reprehensible behavior? Or were you just pissed?

Obviously, your situation is hitting a lot of nerves, which I realize is awful because you're the actual one living it. I gave it some thought about why your post gave me such a visceral reaction, apart from the cruelty of it all, and had this thought:

Your husband's abuse of your sister AND his abuse of you after your affair demonstrate that he's a person who doesn't see the women in his orbit as human beings with their own dignity and agency but as objects that he possesses or that exist solely to meet his needs, sexual or otherwise. When he physically attacked and humiliated you after your affair, it wasn't purely from the pain of betrayal... it was to put you back in your place.

This type of behavior NEVER exists in a vacuum. If you had some time and space from him, I'm sure you would recall many moments-- even if they seemed inconsequential at the time -- that he made you feel small or tried to keep you in a box.

You need to some time a part from your husband to get some clarity on this situation. I'm not saying you need to divorce or legally separate immediately, but maybe go away by yourself for the weekend or just take a week off from him. You definitely don't need to be subject to the bullshit excuses spewing from his IC, which (if true), are complete quackery.

BluerThanBlue posted 12/19/2020 10:35 AM


[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 10:35 AM, December 19th (Saturday)]

Unreallife2020 posted 12/19/2020 11:20 AM

Bluer I dont know what you mean. I havent deleted a thing. And why are you saying Im pissed?

Unreallife2020 posted 12/19/2020 11:22 AM

What excuses have I made? I have stated facts as I know them to be true.

BluerThanBlue posted 12/19/2020 13:49 PM

Sorry for the confusion. In your previous response to me you mentioned that you started writing a longer response but then deleted it. I was wondering if, while you were typing your original thoughts, if you caught yourself making excuses for him or if you were just pissed off at me for speaking bluntly about your husband.

If you caught yourself in the midst of trying to rationalize his actions, then bravo! If you were angry, then itís worth examining where that anger comes from me... at me for what I said or at him for what he did?

It was just a thought exercise, not meant in an accusatory way at you. Sorry if it came off the wrong way.

Girl123 posted 12/19/2020 16:58 PM


Sorry but your post was so painful for me to read. Something very similar what happened with your sister and husband also happened to me with a family member. The big difference is that I was 8 years old. For several years I still had contact with him in family events, when I finally had the courage to tell my mom, she said to stay away from him but nothing else happened. My family still sees him during family gatherings.

I moved to a different country and I see my family ever 3 years or so.

I know it's not the same, in my case he was really a pedophile. But there is not grey area in this scenario. What he did was wrong. Even if he was an amazing husband for 20 years.

I don't know what else to say. It's heartbreaking that your family didn't tell you and didn't have your and your sisters back. I know the feeling.

I wish you the best and I'm really sorry

nekonamida posted 12/19/2020 17:56 PM

Unreal, I don't doubt that you believed your sister right away and I'm very glad to hear that you've told her she's not to blame. I'm also relieved to hear that she is in IC. Just don't be surprised if she changes her mind about wanting your husband around in the future. I highly suspect that as she gets an IC's perspective and stops blaming herself for being a child victim, she will get angry at him and at your parents too for not protecting her. In a way, that's a good thing because anger fuels a person's desire for change and if she doesn't want to keep being blamed, guilt tripped, and hurt by your parents, she will need to change either by setting boundaries with them or limiting/cutting contact altogether. I know that you don't want to blame them because they're your parents and you love them but unfortunately that doesn't change the bad choices they've made and it doesn't stop them from continuing to hurt her with their current choices today. Nor would it hurt you any less if you do divorce and they continue to put your husband above you.

Even though it is my opinion that your husband doesn't necessarily fit the textbook example of a pedophile, I do think that you should keep your eyes open and err on the side of caution. I do believe that your children have a right to know. There is still the possibility that your husband has not been honest when he says she is the only one. There is the possibility that he's made a pass at one of your kids' friends that you don't know about. 20 years is a long time for him to go on thinking that what he did "wasn't that bad" and that your sister was somewhat receptive or deserving of what happened.

By seeing how terribly this has impacted your sister and having been a victim yourself, I hope that you can agree on two things:

1. You can't be too careful when the stakes are someone's life being severely impacted. Many children's lives have been ruined from molestation and abuse even if it only happened once. Even you THINK there's only a 1% chance that he did it or would do it again, that's still not a good reason for you not to be proactive in preventing it from happening through exposure.

2. Keeping the secret from them is doing exactly what your parents did to you. Didn't feel so good, did it? What do you think would happen if your adult children find out later that you hid this from them? Will they question YOUR ability to be a good grandparent when you protected a predator? Will they blame YOU for keeping quiet if another incident happens? Even if nothing happens and they find out by accident through your sister, your parents, or one of the many other people who know and could accidentally say something, this will forever negatively impact your relationship with them and their trust in you even if you decide to D your husband. Don't you think it would be a little hypocritical to keep this from them?

Ellie does have a great point about how your view of normal has been skewed by your experience as a victim and I'd like to touch a little more on that. I believe your view of family dynamics and what constitutes as healthy has been severely impacted by your parent's influence and choices. Even if you didn't fully understand them or know about them. In your family, keeping secrets is the norm. Covering up for someone else is the norm. Even at everyone else's expense. If you want that to change, if honesty is important to you and the basis that is required for a good and healthy relationship from your perspective, that authenticity has to start with you. Which means no more secrets. It means NOT hiding this from your adult children in order to cover for your husband.

There's something else that is important for you to understand - in situations of abuse, you CAN'T protect everyone. Your choice to protect one person almost always puts another at risk. That can be a good thing if you protect a victim by exposing an abuser. Or that can not so good by thinking you're protecting your children by not telling them when actually you're protecting your husband and putting them at risk. Again, that COULD be a small risk but it's a risk none-the-less. It's also a risk to yourself for being outed as a co-conspirator if you get exposed. It's a risk to yourself if you find out he is lying and has made a move on another girl or he does it again because the guilt you will feel will eat you alive. Ask yourself - is the risk worth it? Is them not hearing the truth from you worth all that?

And what also stands out to me is how does this:

hereís the thing, on the surface with the info you have here that sounds true, but what about the fact that outside of these two parts (My A and his thing with my sister) of our 23 years together, he has been a very good husband, father, provider, family member, etc?

Match up with this:

Also, I had bought him a dashcam for christmas last year because both my kids have them and they have proven invaluable to have proof of reckless driving etc in case of an accident. So being that my husband is an on the road salesman, I thought it was a great idea. He never installed it. Both times I asked him, before I knew any of this, why he didnt and he blamed it on not knowing how. But I call bullshit because he does LOTs of wiring of electrical, music equipment, etc. WOuld you be paranoid about that?

If these incidents were isolated, do you really think you'd find yourself in yet another sketchy situation in which he's lying to you? Does this SOUND like the actions of a trustworthy man who deserves the benefit of the doubt when he says there isn't anything more for you to find?

I'm worried for you. Not just about the pedophile stuff but because there seems to be more recent questions of fidelity too. Please know that you are WELL within your rights to ask him to take a polygraph test and pass before he is allowed back home. In fact, I'd say you don't have the luxury of NOT asking for him to do this one basic thing for you because the stakes are so high. If he passes, only then maybe I can get behind the adult children not being told as it would put some credence behind it being a one off even though I still think you have a lot to lose even if it was.

EllieKMAS posted 12/19/2020 18:12 PM

How are you faring today URL? I'll second neko that I'm worried for you.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/19/2020 18:59 PM

Bluer, the only person I am angry at is my husband. No one here would deserve anger from me when I came here and actually exposed my story and said I welcome thoughts and suggestions. I wouldn't expect anyone to shower me with roses.
I had joined SI back in 2009 or 2010 after my A and it was brutal then. Unfortunately my husband went on as well as a BS and I got torn up. I only wish I could now show him everything that everyone here is now saying he is. Next to what he did to my sister, I am almost as upset about how he treated me after my A. How dare he!! So, let me be clear, the only person I am angry at is him.
I told my sister about what everyone here is saying. She has said that no one here knows my life and I shouldnt be listening to all the negativity. She does not feel he is a monster or a pedophile. I admit after she told me what happened initially all of my thoughts were identical to what everyone here is expressing. And I remain disgusted and in shock actually because it's so different from the man I have been living with all these years. I would never have imagined. I have told several of my closest friends and they were all shocked as well.
He has been gone from the house and even from the state for 2 months now. I decide when and if I speak to him on any given day. He realizes I have complete control of the situation. He has said if I want a divorce he will give that to me and all of his money, but he is begging me not to tell our kids because he doesnt want them to see him differently. I have spoken to my family doctor who knows literaly all the players in this, including my sister, husband, and parents...and he agrees I should not tell my kids. My therapist also agrees about that, for now.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/19/2020 19:03 PM

Girl, I can't even imagine how hard it was for you to be around that person. I have said the same to my sister. She has totally downplayed it and said she is totally ok with being around him again. She is in her 30s now though and has been around him all these years. I have let her have control over every family situation since this came out and I will continue to do so. He comes home from being away next week. I have talked with my sister about xmas and she has spoken to him directly. I dont even want to go because its at my parents' house but also no one has been around him since this happened. Everyone is pushing the normalcy for the kids. I am torn.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/19/2020 19:12 PM

Neko, I have been living this for 3 months now. The very first thought that came to my mind was my kids. I literally went to my family doctor to discuss it because I couldnt get in with my therapist for over a week. I hear everything you are saying. I am going to consider the polygraph actually. I think that's a great idea. I'm also very much looking forward to our upcoming MC session to find out what the PhD level LMFT professional with 35+ years of experience, who has authored books and teaches at the graduate level, has to say about all of these things.
Again, I appreciate so much your taking the time to post your concerns.

EllieK=the past 24 hrs have been rough. I had a huge fight with husband over text because of a sticking point of mine. He eventually came around but it bothers me that I need to say things in a certain way to get him to understand. That is concerning to me. I did see both my sister today though and we made ravioli together, so that was nice. I saw my dad for the first time since I stopped speaking to them back in NOV. He has texted me since then offering support but I dont want to discuss any of this with them. I already know they just "want their family back" as he had previously put it. Thanks for asking:)

EllieKMAS posted 12/19/2020 19:13 PM

I kinda get the 'normal for the kids' concept.

But isn't it possible that that thought is also kind of how things got here? That your parents were so intent on normal that they normalized an incident that never ever shoulda been? That they were so intent on normal that they put responsibility for that on your sister? And that all the parties were so intent on normal that no one thought this was pertinent info for YOU for almost 2 decades? Just mho of course, but fuck that kind of normal.

You don't owe him to play normal right now.

Just food for thought.


Eta: We cross posted. Glad you're hanging in there!

[This message edited by EllieKMAS at 7:15 PM, December 19th (Saturday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 12/19/2020 20:13 PM

I told my sister about what everyone here is saying. She has said that no one here knows my life and I shouldnt be listening to all the negativity. She does not feel he is a monster or a pedophile.

She has totally downplayed it and said she is totally ok with being around him again. She is in her 30s now though and has been around him all these years.

I see this as being two possible scenarios.

1. She is telling you not to listen to all of these "negative" words because she actually did things with your husband. She doesn't want you to view him as a sexual predator because she had a relationship with your husband. You said she liked male attention when she was younger. She could have taken things further with him.

*****BUT when did that need for male attention start happening? Before or after your husband masturbated in front of her not yet fully developed self??


2. She is telling you not to listen and that she is ok with him because she has been conditioned to say/feel that. She told your parents about what he did, and they told her to stay quiet. They basically did the pedophile motto of "no one will ever believe you if you say anything." When we are told that, especially by people who are supposed to protect us, we think that we are wrong. The person who did those things wasn't really trying to hurt us. They did it because they really love us. What they did wasn't actually that bad or severe, so we can just let it go.

But isn't it possible that that thought is also kind of how things got here? That your parents were so intent on normal that they normalized an incident that never ever shoulda been? That they were so intent on normal that they put responsibility for that on your sister? And that all the parties were so intent on normal that no one thought this was pertinent info for YOU for almost 2 decades? Just mho of course, but fuck that kind of normal.

Ellie is spot on. Your family MADE your sister believe that what your husband did was nothing, not of significance. Your family didn't protect your sister like they should have. They heard her words and threw them in the trash. They made her feel like she was in the wrong.

nekonamida posted 12/19/2020 21:35 PM

Unreal, there are psychologists who are just as prominent and have just as much experience and credentials who tell a WS not to reveal an A either if they don't think it's likely that they will be exposed. There are some who also believe that a BS shares responsibility for an A. Would you agree with that too? Ester Perel is an accomplished author with 32 years of experience and is a prominent lecturer who says many things about infidelity that I and many others on SI don't agree with. By all means listen to what they have to say but at the end of the day, you're the one who has to live with the risk and the consequences. Not them.

What's concerning to me is that so many people now know about what he did. It's not unlikely that word hasn't gotten out to others. Maybe your sister told a friend or heavily implied something happened but doesn't now remember. We have no idea how many people could potentially, even accidentally, reveal this secret to your children at some point in time. Again, don't put too much stock in how your sister feels TODAY because it's guaranteed to change as long as she stays in IC. She's probably not always going to feel so calm and kind to your husband once they really start digging into that trauma and she starts to connect the dots and understand how that impacted her life. And why would she when she becomes aware of the damage he did to her? You can't guarantee that she won't expose him to the kids one day. Maybe even after your husband passes on and that's it. Cat's out of the bag. The chips fall where they fall. The history of finding out the parents hid this will repeat itself. You don't have to tell today but don't hold yourself too strongly to the idea that telling isn't the right thing to do and absolutely needs to be on the table if he refuses a polygraph or doesn't pass one.

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