The Marriage Bed

Content warning: the following post is a first person account of marital rape. This post may be upsetting to readers.

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Ten years ago, my husband raped me. I was in the shower and eight months pregnant. The whole time I was terrified that I would fall and hurt the baby. So I didn’t fight. A decade later, showering is still one of the hardest things I go through.

The thing no one tells you about our husband raping you is that he will go right back to normal after. He will pretend it never happened. It’s not the he said/she said of date rape. It’s never mentioned, until you start to feel crazy for having all these reactions to something that “didn’t” happen.

I don’t know if he even remembers it. It was probably not as much of a damaging and defining moment for him. I can be sure that taking a shower doesn’t give him panic attacks. I am certain only one of us developed PTSD from our 2.5 month marriage.

I didn’t leave the day he raped me, or the next day. He pretended things were normal, and it seemed so much better to pretend. It wouldn’t have been safe to confront him, and I wasn’t ready to admit my marriage failure to the world yet.

I left him six weeks after the birth of our son, after he cashed in the change jar I’d been saving for the baby, and used it to buy crack. Like in the shower, I couldn’t protect myself but I could protect my baby.

It has taken half my adult life to begin to undo the damage he inflicted, and I may never be done. But he gets to act like everything is normal, everything is fine.

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