Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I am so upset and confused, I don’t even know how to begin. I can’t possibly confide in anyone about this issue. I am not sure if I should confront my husband, as he gets angry easily and loses control. Honestly, when my sister came to me some time ago with a concern, I didn’t believe it. But now…
Let me start from the beginning.
I have been married for four and half years now to a man I thought was a ben Torah with good middos. Shidduchim did not come easy as I have a slight deformity stemming from a bout with Scoliosis in my teens. Not many young men were interested in me, in fact my three younger siblings married before me. When my husband was mentioned, I was a little thrown – he is eleven years older than me – but he came from a good family and seemed like a very nice person. We were married a short two months after the first time we met.
It wasn’t long before his imperfections became clear. For example, I was introduced to his anger as soon as sheva brachos were over. He didn’t like it when we walked side by side and when I would try to walk next to him, he would go into a rage, yelling and screaming that he was the husband and the head of his house and my place was to walk one or two steps behind him. I learned to make him happy, and then there would be quiet.
Another great issue was intimacy. For the first four months there was none. When I found the courage to ask my mother what I was doing wrong or not doing right, she seemed taken aback but cautioned me not to upset him, rather to try to initiate intimacy in the dark. My mother must have consulted with my father about this, and he must have approached my husband, because soon after, my husband did initiate things. However, it was quick, painful and left me feeling cheap, ashamed and unfulfilled. Mercifully these visits were few and far between, and always over within minutes.
When three months later, I discovered I was pregnant and I was overjoyed because I got a break from him. Then, one Friday night, when my brother-in-law had the flu, my sister asked my husband to take their six-year-old to shul. She called me Motzaei Shabbos to say that when her son came home after shul he was in tears but would talk to them about why. Finally, he admitted that my husband had sexually abused him.
I didn’t know why to do, but was sick over it.
Our son was born a few weeks later. At the bris, I asked one of my husband’s aunts, who is not very bright and does not have much of a filter about his childhood and early adulthood. She said everyone was so surprised and happy when he finally married, because of all the rumors. My heart skipped several beats when she told me he had been thrown out of two yeshivas because of some absurd rumors that he had been caught doing some nasty things with other boys. She had to stop in mid sentence as people came over to wish me Mazel Tov. I felt the blood rushing through my head and as if I would pass out, but pushed all thoughts of what I had heard out of my mind.
My husband was never really interested in our son until he turned two. Suddenly my husband wanted to diaper him, play with him and insisted on giving him baths. And last week I realized why. I walked past the bathroom where he was bathing the baby and almost passed out. Grabbing a towel I rushed in and said it was late and the baby had to go to sleep. Finally, it dawned on me how sick and perverted he is and that now he was molesting his own son. Angry that I interrupted him he left the house only to return much later; I pretended to be sleeping. I am terrified for my child and for myself. What am I supposed to do?
Why are you still thinking about what you should do? Pack up a suitcase, grab the baby and leave! Go to stay with your parents. Your husband needs intensive therapy, therapy that is a lengthy and complicated process. Even then, there are no guarantees that he will be cured and that your child will be safe in his presence. The treatment for pedophilia has proven to have a poor success rate and just as those addicted to alcohol cannot ever trust themselves near a bottle of whiskey, a pedophiliac must never be exposed to children. My heart bleeds for you and I am so sorry not to be able to offer you hope that things will get better anytime in the foreseeable future. The only solace I can extend to you is that, with time and a great deal of bitachon in Hakadosh Boruch Hu, there might come a time when medical science does find a cure for what afflicts your husband.
Since you asked my opinion, I would suggest you ask seek the guidance of your Rav, and look to make a safe home for your child and yourself. You are still young and should request a get and find a way to go on with your life. Take heart and look ahead to raising your son, instilling in him Torah values and a sense of pride in being a true ben Torah u’mitzvos.
May Hashem Yisborach lighten your heart and give you the strength to do what needs to be done to ensure a better future. Know that there is much love and help ready and waiting, should you reach out for it. Please let us know how you are doing and if we can be of service.