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Healing Sexual Trauma and Finding Physical Intimacy in Marriage; A Wife Who Hates a Step-Son

Dec 24, 2006


After many many years of living alone, God has granted me the deep and spiritual love of a very empathic and patient man. We have been together as a committed couple for several years now, and are ready to take the "next step" -- marriage. However, I have been delaying this special sacrament because of a significant childhood trauma. For years I struggled to overcome the psychological and emotional scars left by rape (incest). It has been nearly 5 years since I have forgiven the perpetrator of this violence, and I've been slowly re-establishing a loving and more compassionate relationship with him. God has given me the Grace to heal from the trauma of incest, but I find the very contemplation of physical intimacy with my fiance... well, painful and frightening. (Yes, he is aware of my past, and has been extremely gentle and supportive throughout my healing.)

How can I heal SPIRITUALLY from this wound, so that I can be the loving, affectionate wife (and hopefully someday, mother) that my fiance deserves, and that I truely wish to be? I cannot find the joy or enthusiasm to celebrate the Sacrament of marriage in the most intimate way when the very thought of sharing and entrusting my body with a man, even a man I love so tenderly, is so SO daunting... How can I ever think of a sexual relationship as loving and bonding when it seems so painful and humiliating?

Physical Intimacy AFTER Marriage

Dear "Intimacy":

Scars like this exist on many levels, and may require many different approaches to remedy, over a long period of time. Prayer together with your husband is the first step that I would recommend. Pray together every day, hand in hand, and pray specifically for healing. By praying like this, over a long period of time, you are inviting God and your husband to share in the process of healing and breaking the walls down. I do believe that God answers prayers, sometimes in unexpected ways. Through prayer, you may be guided to a method or therapy that will heal you.

My wife recently attended a seminar called Woman Within® and found that tremendous healing took place for many of the participants. Their website is at The organization sponsors seminars that include couples seminars and the healing of sexual trauma.

There are also books that can guide you toward therapists that may be exactly what you need. I'm reading a very interesting book called "Instant Emotional Healing - Acupressure for the Emotions", by Peter Lambrou, Ph.D. and George Pratt, Ph.D. The authors are on staff at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California and have used their techniques on over six thousand patients, with a 95 percent success rate. Their website is at

Most of all -- never, never give up!!!


I'm in a very difficult situation. I married my wife six months ago, and she is now one month pregnant. I also have a son from a previous relationship who is ten years old, and I see him every other weekend. My problem is that my wife hates my child. She insults him, and tells me that she thinks he is not even my child. When I display affection towards him, or defend him, she says that I don't love her, or our unborn child.

She is also jealous of the fact that my parents love my child, and tells me that they love him more than her or our unborn child. I love my son, my wife, and my future child very much, and I want to know what I can do to resolve this difficult situation. Should I consult with a professional couples counselor with my wife? What can I do?

"My Wife Hates My Son"

Dear "My Wife Hates My Son":

Yes, indeed, I think you should consult a marriage counselor. It's important to help your wife understand that as a new mother, her motherly love should extend blindly in all directions -- toward her new child as well as your ten-year-old. She needs to reflect deeply about the quality and nature of true unselfish love and decide that she would like to emulate that type of love. Unselfish love doesn't have borders or qualifiers. It's a bit like an old wood burning Franklin stove -- heat generates from it in all directions. When a person can't seem to muster up enough love for others it's important for them to look at the source of love and connect with that source. Try to find a marriage counselor or minister who can show your wife the immense love that God has for everyone, including her, her new child and your ten-year-old. If she can connect with God's love for herself, and God's love for people, she'll be able to love your son.

Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”

~ Deus est auctor amoris et decoris. ~

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Peter Falkenberg Brown
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