My Rapist

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2011
My Rapist
9
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 5:53pm

I was raped several years ago. I still live in the same city as I did then but I have managed to move around often enough to feel safe that my rapist would never locate me.

Recently my husband reconnected with an old friend from high school (on Facebook) who he has had nothing to do with for 26 years but who also happens to be best friends with my rapist. My husband knew about this connection and still moved forward.

When I found out about this I told him I wasn't comfortable with any of it. He proceeded to accuse me of not supporting a friendship that was "important" to him. I told him I didn't understand how a person whom he has had nothing to do with for 26 years could be more important than the fact this person is friends with the man who raped his wife (of 22 years). I told him I was far from being comfortable with the fact information that he relayed to his friend (ie: about our child, where we live, etc) could equally be relayed to my rapist when the two of them were hanging out. He blew it off and basically told me I was over-reacting and seeking attention.

I have found myself confused because I don't feel that I am being unreasonable nor unfair. I don't feel that after 22 years of marriage to him that I should come in second place to this friend who has been no part of our lives whatsoever. I don't feel it is fair to re-esatblish this friendship when my daughter could be at risk should my rapist desire any sort of vengence against me. I'm simply dumbfounded that my spouse comprehends none of my fear and is playing it off as female histronics (sp) ... I don't know what to think, period.

Any feedback would be most appreciated by me since I'm seeking to make snse of it all and naturally assume an unbiased opinion will help me fathom my own. So thank you in advance for your time in responding to my post.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
In reply to: oh_chloe
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 8:44pm

Hi Chloe,

First, a couple of questions to clarify what happened. You say you were raped "several" years ago? Exactly how long ago? And, did you report this to the police at the time of the incident? If not, why not? (Was it "date rape" or "stranger rape? And, I am not judging you, I simply want to know more info in order to properly advise you.)

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2011
In reply to: oh_chloe
Sat, 09-10-2011 - 8:03am
Thank you for your response. In reply, I was 21 when this happened (I am in my 40's now). I did get into therapy but not until I was in my early 30's.

Was the rape reported? No and it's a rather complicated reason for why. My father-in-law was a police officer at the time I was raped. My rapist was his oldest son (not the the youngest who is the one I married). My husband and my father-in-law had gone on a fishing trip together. My brother-in-law showed up at our apartment (high on cocaine and drunk on liquor) looking for my husband. When I told him that he'd gone off with their dad on a trip to the lake he started to get angry and the scenario escalated from there. I called my mother-in-law immediately after he left because, again I was 21 and was never exposed to violence growing up so needless to say I was shell shocked. She wanted me to wait until my father-in-law got back (before doing anything) since he was a police officer. When my father-in-law got back he basically said that if I chose to file a report it would look bad on him and could possibly cost him his job. He then proceeded to say to me that his son had been high on drugs and probably didn't even know what he did or to whom he did it to. He then said he would send him to California to live with an Aunt and that would be "just as if he went to jail." Needless to say, I was newly married, this was my newly gained family and I was a naive 21 year old so I went along with that. My brother in-law remained in California for several years (almost 9) but moved back when my mother-in-law got sick with cancer. By that time my husband and his family no longer had anything to do with one another and I never had to see any of them again which that, coupled with moving around fairly often, gave me a sense of safety that now feels jeopardized.
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
In reply to: oh_chloe
Sat, 09-10-2011 - 3:00pm

Hi,

First of all, I am sorry you had to experience this violent act. I hope the therapy you have received in the intervening years has helped you with what happened.

Now to your question.

If i understand your post correctly, the BIL who raped you was either estranged from the family or cut off from the family via his your FIL. My first thought is this, is your husband trying to re-establish a relationship with his brother via this "old friend" he has now rediscovered? I'm asking because once you drew the picture of relationships, it makes me think that time, the death or aging of parents and relatives has made him want to reconnect with his brother. Knowing what this brother did to you, even 2 decades ago, your DH is probably in denial about what occured and his desire to know his brother or befriend him is overriding your concerns and your role as his wife. (You know the old saying, blood is thicker than water.)

Have you sought a therapist's input on this current situation, i.e. have you asked how to deal with your renewed fears of this person, your DH's behavior toward your concerns, and what you might do or say in light of this reconnection? I'd advise you to do so. It would be valuable to have this input from a professional.

That said, I, personally, would point blank ask my DH: "Are you trying to reestablish a relationship with your brother? Yes or no? If it's yes, then my next pointed question would be this:"Do you believe your brother raped me or do you think I was a willing participant in sex with him?"

I'm being blunt because I know many people would not want to believe their family members would be capable of such violence. Even though your BIL was high or drunk when this occured, they want to excuse him and deny it was an act that should have resulted in law enforcement intervention and his arrest. (By the way, your FIL was wrong not to report the incident, have his son arrested and your MIL was wrong to tell you to wait. As you now know, anyone else would have told you to call 911 and damn the consequences to your FIL's reputation. Your FIL should have been relieved of duty for his actions. They were inexcusable.)

If your husband is discrediting your concern about reconnecting with this brother, even indirectly, then I suspect he buys the same bull crap that most people buy about rape: that the woman invited it upon herself, or that because his brother was drunk and high when it happened, it wasn't "his fault."

You may need to see a marriage counselor to get your DH on the same page with you. I'd insist on it. I suspect this is more about your BIL than it is their mutual friend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2011
In reply to: oh_chloe
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 2:09pm
Thank you again for your time to respond.

With regards to my therapist, I haven't needed to see her for the past three years. She diagnosed me with PTSD, put me on Effexor and helped me to work through my anger and self-blame about what happened. Now that we don't have insurance it just wouldn't be financially feasible to see her for this situation, but I do agree with you that it would have been beneficial to do so.

I don't know that my husband is looking to reconnect with his brother. I know that he says that he doesn't care to do so but I've also heard things like that from him before about certain people and it always changed. I have no reason not to believe that this mutual friend won't eventually insert himself in this estrangement to push them to work things out because you know (as well as I do) that there have been moments where his brother has vented to this friend about how much he wishes my husband and him were speaking to one another. Heck, this friend and my BIL are going to Hawaii together next week and the friend invited my husband to go! If it weren't for FB I wouldn't have had an inkling that my husband contacted this friend or that this friend is already trying to get everyone together.

As for my husband discrediting what happened to me, no, I don't think that is the situation but I could be wrong. See, my husband was molested by his brother when they were kids (mind you I didn't know about this before we married or even immediately afterwards). My FIL did the same thing he did with me, sent the brother off to another state to live with relatives until the situation "got better." My husband never got therapy for it, just proceeded to "act out" over the course of our marriage (22 years) ... not all of the time but when he did do something it would rarely be a small thing that you could easily work through during the aftermath phase. I just think he is of the mindset you have no choice but to "get over" things that happen to you, whether that is rape or your car breaking down when you can at least afford to fix it. I don't think he distinguishes that rape and a car break down don't fall under the same category of situations. That probably has more to do with how his FIL has handled matters in the past. I did get him to go with me once before to a marriage counselor but as soon as the counselor started to confront him about his actions my husband refused to return. Don't get me wrong, things aren't always like this which is why it is bothering me the way that it is ... it's out of the blue, unexpected and I was left learning about this friendship- reconnect second hand. It's another "acting out" scenario with my husband only this time it has the potential to adversely affect more than I think he is willing to accept.

Anyway, thank you for validating my concerns.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
In reply to: oh_chloe
Tue, 09-13-2011 - 3:34pm

After 22 years of marriage my (MFT therapist) ex wife brought home a young, female client who was a heroin addict, suicidal, and homicidal. Naturally, with her license on the line and kids in the home, I was very much against it..

As it turned out, she had already planned on filing for divorce and only needed a reason to justify it - my protests which, in the end, got rather ugly.

I hope that's not the case in your situation.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001
In reply to: oh_chloe
Wed, 09-14-2011 - 2:05am

Hi, Oh_Chloe ~

First let me say that I think it's incredibly unfeeling that your husband wouldn't understand that making a connection that is close to your rapist would put your sense of security completely out the window.


~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2011
In reply to: oh_chloe
Wed, 09-14-2011 - 3:41pm

I would have felt the same way as you in that situation. Drug addicts are too unpredictable imo. And yes, I have considered the potential that my husband is re-establishing a new life for himself. Our child is almost 18 with future plans of her own and given the changes my husband has made over the past three years, I wouldn't be surprised if he sprung divorce papers on me soon after she leaves home. I hate to say/think that but it's kind of hard not to think of that possibility right now.

Anyway, thank you for your time in responding and my apologies for what you went through with your ex-wife.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2011
In reply to: oh_chloe
Wed, 09-14-2011 - 4:28pm
I agree with you. I think he has buried the experience, or at least he believes that he has. With some of his behavioral patterns over the years logic pretty much tells me things aren't as far below the surface as he wishes them to be. And yes, he doesn't believe anything about this situation could possibly be dangerous solely because he thinks it will be easy to keep our life separate from his friendship, something I completely disagree with being possible. I've tried to explain to him in a million ways how this whole situation could unravel and become a problem but it is like talking to a brick wall. In the end he is going to do what he want to do and damn the consequences, but once the problems arise as I predict they will, THEN and only then will he acknowledge that my concerns were legitimate. Then he'll apologize profusely as though that will instantly repair everything.

To answer your question about therapy, no, he has never received any. He went to a marriage counselor with me once but didn't like it when he was confronted about his actions so therefore he refused to go again.

With regards to my BIL knowing my address, he already does. We bought a home in a different county than the one his father serves as a police officer in. Thanks to public records with regards to property deeds he located us. We hadn't been in our home for very long when I found out I had cancer. Not long after finding out I had cancer my husband moved out. Not long after he moved out my BIL showed up on my front porch looking for my husband. I didn't recognize him because a decade (maybe more) had passed since I had last seen him. When he told me who he was I freaked out and began to rant and rave. I told him my husband and I were divorced and that I had no idea where he was living so there was no reason for him to be on my property and that if he didn't leave I would call the police. I wanted him gone before my daughter got home from school so my reaction was quite over the top. Thankfully he left and I never heard from him again. My concern is, thanks to my husband's decision to reconnect with his friend, that my BIL now knows I lied that day about my husband and I being divorced. I have a strong feeling this will anger him because he will view it as lost time that could have been used to reconnect with my husband. Another issue, my husband has started smoking pot, quite a bit actually, and this mutual friend not only does the same but is all involved with pot as though it were a hobby. I remember my BIL back in the day, he never hung out with anyone who didn't do the same recreational drugs that he did, so considering they are still friends I have no choice but to believe he is still doing them, which makes him highly unpredictable. Couple anger, with drugs and unpredictability and you have one hell of a bad combination.

See, my husband has had nothing to do with any of his family for almost 20 years now. They had a falling out over something totally unrelated to the situation with my BIL. Anyway, his family began harassing my parents. Due to the fact that we were always renting a place to live it made it more difficult for his family to pin down our location and bother us, therefore they bothered my parents instead. They would sometimes call my parents house and pretend to be reps from a credit card agency looking to find us because we had an outstanding bill. We had no cards at the time so it was easy to deduce who was actually calling. Another time my MIL called pretending to be a private investigator seeking my husband out to inform that his father died and that he was due some inheritance. We just happened to be there having dinner with my folks that day so my dad put my husband on the phone. He recognized his mother's voice immediately and called her out on it. She asked him to hold on and proceeded to turn the phone over to my FIL who started yelling at him what a lousy son he was for having nothing to do with his family. Things like this happened several times a month for 8 years. When it evolved to my BIL stalking my parents house until he saw one of our cars there (he would leave notes for my husband to call the family) my dad finally took out an order of protection to prevent them from coming on his property. So, as you can see, my husband's family is tad bit beyond mere dysfunction. They have blamed me for my husband's decision to have nothing to do with them and that is why I expect this type of scenario to begin again now that will know my husband and I aren't divorced and he still lives at the home we purchased.

As to your other questions. I don't know why my husband went on that trip with his dad. We were newly married and I assume he thought it all meant a fresh new slate, like his father would view him as an adult worthy of mutual respect. I think he has spent too many years believing there would come a day that his father would become the parent he needed him to be and I'm the only one who has never believed that will be possible. As for going out of town and leaving me vulnerable to a rapist, I don't understand that one to this day. He didn't tell me what his brother had done to him until after we'd been married for 3 years but that's ok, because his father never wanted him to know what his brother had done to me so I didn't tell him until after he divulged what had been done to him. I hadn't been in therapy then and felt I still had to minimize my own experience but that moment presented an opportunity to safely share the anger with him since he was expressing his own about how things were handled in his own case. He didn't talk about his dad having sent my BIL off until I mentioned that is what he had done in my case. I think that is what validated my experience as truthful in his mind because his dad had used the same method of handling my BIL as he had when my husband was a child. Given his reaction back then that is part of what confuses me now with his choice to seek out a friend that is still close to his BIL.

Anyway, I have prattled long enough. Thank you for time in responding to my post. It is most appreciated by me.
Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: oh_chloe
Wed, 09-21-2011 - 4:49pm
I don't know if you can get a restraining order on him so at least he cannot be near you without breaking the law. This way you don't have to deal with your husband's insensitivity.

Mark