Q&A: My wife was sexually assaulted by her grandfather as a child – what do I do?

Hi Maj,

My wife was sexually assaulted as af child 🙁

She came to me the other day and told me how she’d been sexually assaulted by her grandfather when she was 10 years old.

She stayed with him for a whole week and feared every day when he sat in his chair and asked her to join him.

He sexually assaulted her by both groping her, having her touch him and he had full intercourse with her several times.

She feared every night.

And she never told her parents because she thought “they ought to be able to tell.”

Later she mentioned it to her mother who just dismissed her.

We’re experiencing problems sexually and in our daily life and I’ve encouraged her to talk to a therapist about the experience with her grandfather.

My wife’s 40 years old today and I don’t know what to do.

My wife was sexually assaulted by her grandfather as a child - what do I do?

Recently we sought out a couples therapist regarding our everyday problems.

We have tried therapy…

However, it ended with my wife being scolded by the therapist who felt belittled by my wife during a solo-session.

The therapist called me before my wife arrived home and explained what had happened.

She’d had to ask my wife to leave because she wouldn’t relate to what had happened.

My wife’s version is different!

– she’d been dragged through mud, yelled and cursed at.

It put me in a terrible dilemma…

Who to believe… and unfortunately I have to admit that I’d gained huge respect for the therapist.

So I told my wife that I thought she should cool down, sleep on it and then take from it whatever she could use and believe that the therapist’s intention was good.

But alas!

My wife was completely shut off and started blaming me for not calling the therapist, asking her why.

When the therapist asked me not to mention her calling me, that put me in yet another dilemma.

So I told my wife that I’d just called and talked to the therapist.

Then my wife blamed me for calling the therapist first and not my her.

We haven’t contacted the therapist since but now my wife’s revealed that she was molested. I’m so lost, what can I do?

Best regards,

“The Husband”


My wife was sexually assaulted by her grandfather as a child – what do I do?


Dear “Husband”

What a mess you’re in.

It’s good that you wrote me and are seeking help instead of trying to go at this alone.

First and foremost I need to tell you, as you’ve probably discovered, that your wife has finally dared to say out loud, something that has been a burden to her all of her life.

That’s why she reacts so strongly and probably also irrationally to a lot of things.

You really have to try and take it easy.

Right now it is of the UTMOST importance that you remain a constant support by her side while going through this hell.

You need to take care of yourself to take care of her

It is vital that you take care of yourself in order to be there for her.

I suggest you take some long walks and clear your mind.

If you play any sports, train a few extra times during the week in order to give your body the strength to endure the scenario you’re going through.

And remember that while it’ll be bad for some time, someday things will get brighter.

Even if it seems completely hopeless right now.

Keep believing that things will get better.

I also must tell you that I absolutely do not understand how a therapist would ask you to keep it a secret that she called.

To introduce lies and concealment into a relationship where there’s already crisis is NOT a smart move.

Please do all you can to trust your wife as she needs your trust right now.

It’s clear that your wife is not comfortable with the therapist!

But if she’s ok with it, I would recommend you seek out a new therapist.

Preferably one who’s worked with similar cases on the subject.

You’ll require intensive therapy both as a couple but also individually.

She can get help at one of the different centers found around the country that deal with people that has been sexually assaulted.

It is likely that your wife’s childhood experience has something to do with your relationship problems!

Issues with closeness, intimacy and trust are common in relationships where one person has been sexually assaulted or experienced neglect as a child.

No matter what, this is issue is hard to deal with on your own.

My advice is that you take good care of yourself so you have the strength to support your loved one, get professional help from an outsider as soon as you can. And remember to stick together in this, working on the problem.

My wife was sexually assaulted as a child - Maj Wismann gives advisesMany Caring thoughts

Maj Wismann – Clinical Sexologist and Relationship Therapist with own clinic since 2006 – Read more about Maj here <—




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*** Have you been in a situation like the frustrated man who is asking “My wife was sexually assaulted – what can I do to help?”? Have you experienced your partner telling you that he or she has been molested? Please share your experiences (and lessons) in the comments below. Remember, your comment might help someone else! And as always, thank you for sharing.

Please do remember that relationship issues are very vulnerable topics, so please keep your words positive and loving. Thank you. Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.


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