Like many women on this site I also have a story of sexual abuse – probably in a slightly abstract way. I got married in March 2009, to the man I though I’d spend the rest of my life with. He was a rugby player, who had already become a successful business man by the time we met. He was sociable, smart, charming, generous and funny. He got along with everyone and made me, and everyone else, feel comfortable and happy.

Soon after we got married, we moved to a big city in Asia. One year into our time there he took on a new job. A highflyer career job with global responsibility. He had always travelled a lot, but for his new company he was travelling 24/7.Often I would see him for less than 5 days in a month. When he’d come home, he was distracted, didnt’t talk much and instead of being caring and gentle, he just fucked me without any emotions. He started staying up at night until 2 or 3am sometimes, doing ‘I don’t know what’ on his PC (now I know). He would lie in bed next to me, responding to text messages that came from some distant countries that he had just been to. He would not understand that I didn’t like sharing our bed with his mobile phone and text messages from strangers. One night he went out with his clients and I got worried sick when he still wasn’t home by 5am. I even called police to check if anything had happened to him. He ended up coming home at 6am in the morning, claiming that he had gotten drugged and had fallen asleep somewhere in a bar. While I didn’t like at all that he had lost control in this way, I chose to believe him.

His behaviour continued though and I started finding out about what he was up to. He had set up profiles on online sex dating websites. When he’d go on business trips, he’d meet up with women who he had lined up through these sites and ‘fuck them’ too. He had women all over the world, and even documented his sexcapades with the camera on his mobile phone or exchanged explicit photos with women by email. All of which I found out about because he had given me his passwords a year before and not changed them. One day I signed up with a fake profile on one of ‘his’ sex site and arranged a blind date with him – with my own husband. When he saw me sitting in the restaurant where we had agreed to meet, he laughed things off and tried to make me feel like I was the one who was wrong and overly sensitive. His arrogance and self rightousness made me disbelieve my own instincts. And that nearly broke me. After a while I realised that what he did was wrong, and I decided to follow my instincts. I ended up handing him my wedding band, because it felt like a big lie that was weighing me down. 

He agreed to undergo a therapy and was soon diagnosed with sex addiction. For nearly a year I tried to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But he did not follow through with his therapy and consequently didn’t change a bit. He continued to act out on his addiction, despite the adverse effects. After a year, I broke free. I had a melt down, hit and kicked him, broke the door to our bedroom in a fit of disbelief and helplessness. That was my sign. I had crossed a line and I wasn’t myself anymore. I filed for divorce and worked very hard to get through this very painful time. For over half a year I took monthly blood tests, just to be absolutely sure that I hadn’t caught HIV or some other STD from him. I am clean. Some wonderful friends and my family helped me get through this devastating time. 

His rugby community has accepted his behaviour as ‘absolutely normal’ and is ignoring me now. I couldn’t care less. But it shows that many people in society still try to find ways to excuse behaviour of sexual abuse. Even his own parents are still ignoring the fact that his son is leaving a path of destruction wherever he goes. At least they don’t speak up against it. They sweep it under the carpet and hope that his abuse goes away if they don’t talk about it. But, and that’s an important thing I have learned: it’s not my job to open their eyes. If they choose to accept their son’s behaviour, then they are condoning it and at the same time contributing to the abusive behaviour of men in society. It is sad to know, but I am not going to attempt to change their view. I simply accept that their behaviour is outside my control.