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Wedding Woes

4 men

Dear Prudence,

Both my ex and my current husband were victims of repeated sexual assault (by men) when they were teenagers. My husband was later sexually assaulted for several years by a woman who was a leader in his church youth program. I believe these experiences explain the bouts of anger and odd behavior that both my ex-husband and my current husband exhibit around my children, who are now in college. Part of me wants to share this information with my children so they understand the source of the anger. On the other hand, this information is not mine to share. Should I tell my children so they can understand the anger is not directed toward them, or should I continue to protect the confidence their father and stepfather held with me? Given the nature of my problem, I have no one else to ask.

—A Reason for the Rage

Re: 4 men

  • I think she needs to be getting some therapy herself. 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I don't know that this is a 4 men problem, but a strange coincidence that both of her Hs had these terrible things happen to them in their teen years.  Though if they are both prone to angry outbursts, LW does have a type.

    My follow-up question to LW is - what type of anger outbursts are these?  Is the child talking about a professor and the SF or F get angry about being too close to a teacher?

    I think for at least SF, LW should request that he go to counseling.  Depending on their relationship, I think LW should gently tell the ex to go as well.  It will be beneficial to them in multiple ways.

    There is no way that LW should tell her children about their F and SF past.  That is their story to tell.  I do think it could be good for the children to hear the story (it sounds as if they are all adult aged), but that needs to come from F and SF, not LW.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This pisses me off, because this is similar to what my mom did - made excuses for my dad being an abusive asshole. 

    But no, it's not her story to share. 

  • @OliveOilsMom, my first thought was the "ding, ding, ding" of definitely a type, coupled with the unusual coincidence of similar molestation pasts.

    I think she should definitely, and I hope she has, spoken to her children about their father's and SF's anger issues.  Though, obviously not reasons behind them.  I also hope she defended them and came to their rescue growing up, when it was appropriate.

    She's right.  It is not her story to tell.  But perhaps she should broach the subject with her H (or her ex) if they think the children should know or eventually be told.  Treading lightly, not giving her opinion, and probably best discussed in counseling sessions.

    Here's the other thing that just occurred to me.  I bet neither of those men know they share a similar past of abuse.  I'm sure they didn't tell each other and, just like with the kids, it's not the LW's place to tell them either.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • This pisses me off, because this is similar to what my mom did - made excuses for my dad being an abusive asshole. 

    But no, it's not her story to share. 
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