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October 22, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Hard Knocks

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Raped by my husband


I have always fallen in love very easily, needing to feel loved. Found somebody who I thought loved me more than anything in the world. We got married and it was hell. I had the courage to leave, but I have nightmares every night of him finding me. He sexually abused me. He forced sexual intercourse many, many times. He threw things at me. I couldn't wear make-up because I looked like a "slut" and wasn't allowed to cut my hair. I lost most friends because I couldn't go out.

Can a husband really rape his wife? If I give in to the begging and the guilt trips, is it really rape? I'm so confused and I don't know what to do. Can counseling actually help?

BigRed (23 year-old woman) from Cincinnati, OH


Dear 'BigRed',

My dear you need not doubt yourself. You did right in leaving this man, and your reasons were correct.

I don't know American law, but here in Australia a man can go to jail for raping his wife. And regardless of the law, it is immoral to force your will on another person, whether you are married or not. If it is immoral to do an act to a stranger, it is even more wrong when done to someone you supposedly love.

There are some cultures where a woman's relationship to her husband is that of slave to master. Thankfully, this is not true for us.

So, you were right. He tried to treat you like a slave, and you refused to stand for it.

Rape is not a matter of sex, but of power. If you are in a position where you have no choice but to allow a man to have sex with you, that is rape.

The nightmares are part of what happens to normal, sane people put into an abnormal situation. You must deal with them. The way to do it is to seek counseling. There are scientifically proven, reliable techniques that will help you, and the sooner you make use of them the better.

And just remember, not all men are like this.

All the best for the future,

Bob Rich

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

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