There is hope for the relationship. I know because my husband and I have managed to stay married for more than twenty years, in spite of the odds.
I was the victim of not only years of sexual abuse by a family member. I was able to survive the rape by three men at the age of ten, Although the memory of the rape did not surface until my oldest child became the same age I was when the rape occured.
I had always remembered the pain, darkness, anger and helplessness of the years of sexual abuse.
The memory of the rape did not surface until ten years into my marriage. There were several things that triggered the memory.
Seeing a van the same year as the one that I was raped in. I remember freezing in place watching the flash of what had happened at the sight of the inside of that van. The vague memories had been trying to break through since my child had turned ten. I just fought them off.
It wasn't possible for me to keep them at bay once I saw that van.
When I first started to date my husband I was honest with him about the sexual abuse that had begun when I was only five and continued through my childhood.
I wanted him to have the choice to date me or not. He thankfully made the choice to love me anyway.
Due to the abuse I was never comfortable with sex. The only thing that I could associate with sex was pain and fear, not love and intimacy.
The begining of the marriage was a huge struggle for both of us. Thankfully my husband was a strong man, more than willing to carry the heavy burden of recovering.
When I fully remembered the rape. I was haunted by the images anytime I closed my eyes.
We went through very difficult times. He encouraged me to seek therapy to help me heal, and realize I had a right to be at peace.
There were plenty of tears and frustration at the anger.
I for the longest time had to get the poison of those memories out of me, my husband was the only person I felt I could talk to about what happened. Voicing the memories hurt him as much as they did me. He wanted to hurt the man that had stolen my innocence.
The dark hole that I lived in was sufficating me. He finally convinced me that if I had the courage to survive those horrific things. I was most certainly able to find my way back to the sunshine in the world around me.
My husband was very careful to keep the rage from my notice. He taught me through support and love that I was safe.
As a spouse or partner of the victims, you need to know that you have a right to the anger and fear that comes with the knowledge of that abuse.
You can't change the past for them, but you can love and support them through the struggle to heal.
Today, my husband and I share a healthy sex life and are more happily married than we ever were in the first ten years of our life together.
He is my best friend and the one person I trust most in the world besides myself.
I hope that the loved ones of all victims of abuse or rape, find the strength to help in the healing process of the person they love and for themselves, Because the moment that you get involved with a man or woman that was victimized you become a victim yourself as a result of thier past.
Sadly those partners can also become the recipient of all the pent up anger.
Try to remember it is possible to recover from the effects of the damage. You have to take everyday one day at a time, with love and patience.
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