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A Prisoner in My Own Home

Dear Sugar
I need advice and I don't know where to start. I have lived with my husband for 19 years and we have three sons: 18, 15 and 10 years old. Last month I came home from work, it happened to be my birthday, and my husband wasn't home which was very much out of character for him.

A group of my friends came over for a dinner that he had planned for me, yet he never showed up. As all of my friends were leaving, he walked in the front door. After my ranting and raving and questioning where he had been, he told me he was at the police station being charged for raping a woman 17 years ago.

Needless to say, I was shocked and horrified. He has to wait until next month to appear in front of the judge. Since then, we haven't slept in the same room, gone anywhere together and I never leave home without my children. I am living with severe stomach pains, and all we do is argue.

I have not been able to confide in any of my friends as I am so ashamed, so they are all mad at me and feel like I am ignoring them. My husband swears he is innocent, and I want more than anything to believe him and put this in our past, but something is telling me he isn't. I love my family and want the best for my children and simply don't know what to do. Ashamed Annabelle

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Ashamed Annabelle
I always say listen to your gut instinct, so if you are doubting your husband's word, get out of this relationship ASAP. Although you love him and want this to all be a bad dream, you have to face reality and do what is best for you and your children.

It sounds like you are suffering from severe stress and anxiety. Do your kids know what is going on? Separating from your husband might be a good idea until the trial is over. You can make a better decision about your future if you take a step back and re-evaluate all of the facts.

Since you are keeping all your emotions bottled up inside, I suggest seeing a therapist to learn coping skills for your feelings and also to help you get some of your aggression out. Stress can do a number on your body so try to take some time for yourself, as hard as that might be.

Brittany14706805 Brittany14706805 10 years
Ok first of all i agree protect your kids thats always more important. But what is wrong with all of you... You all have almost jumped the gun at thinking he is guilty. What if hes not guilty mistaken identity things like that happen ALL the time, and this was 17 yrs ago who knows if they have the right guy. I really believe most people who live with a rapist etc. have some sort of feeling that they know. Did you have a feeling 17 yrs ago that your husband was acting differently? Or does he act the same then as he does now. Most ppl can see some difference in behavior,u should really think about that and whatever you do dont jump the gun and think hes guilty. Youve been together for a long time and if hes innoncent he might appreciate it a little more if you dont assume hes a rapist. But whatever you do be safe and protect your kids.
Marci Marci 10 years
What a horrible situation! I agree with everyone that you should always listen to your gut instinct. I also agree that a separation might be wise. And Dear Sugar's suggestion that you see a therapist is the right step for your own well being. You need someone to talk to regularly - without fear of judgement or repercussion - to help you sort through all of your feelings with this. Best of luck to you.
Luna13 Luna13 10 years
toughy, i would leave him too, not only did he cheat on you but he RAPED and comitted a crime and lied about it for 17 years. Its an undescriable feeling you must be going through the shock and anxiety of finding out the man u trusted and loved and had children with doesnt exsist anymore but u have to believe that if you do leave him you can move on to big and better things but i would not want my kids to be around a rapist. If you believe he is which i think you do, then for your safety and the childrens leave him
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
You def have to look out for you an your kids in this situation and a seperation may be best till you can get things sorted in your head. Alot of what you are feeling also maybe asscoiated with the fact that if this is true hes been unfaithful to you. How horrible that this is being bothered with if it happened 17 years ago. I mean gosh. Rape can be defined in several ways so it may not even be to bad of a situation. Talk to you hubby or better yet the prosecutor find out what you can and make your own descion. After seeing the evidence ull lean one way or another and you can support him or get the heck out. Kisse an good luck to you with this ------ only 19 days to go
redegg redegg 10 years
You have got to look after you and your children's health and well being through all of this. I would advise either he move temporarily to another location or you and the kids move to another location to end the arguing and give you some peace for now. If you are afraid of him bothering you at this new location then maybe you can go somewhere he does not know of. I don't know if you can do this legally with kids involved so you might have to talk to a lawyer. Also take care of your body. Conciously eat right and enough throughout all of this to prevent the stomach pains and weight loss and try to get out of the house for some air. I left my husband two years ago and we slept in separate bedrooms at first but he picked fights with me so much I just couldn't take it anymore. As a husband, he was verbally and occasionally physically abusive. I did not eat and lost 20 pounds in six weeks. The weight loss and digestive pain caused me to become lactose intolerant, which I still am to this day. I moved out, even though I could not afford it, to a studio apartment and did not tell him the location. This brought me so much freedom and release it was wonderful. The only invasions I had were phone calls which I could chose to answer. I was in charge of my life and proceeded with the divorce with a clearer head and began to eat again. I also got therapy. I would also advise confiding in one friend you maybe trust more than everyone else, or maybe a sister, because you are going to have to talk to someone through all of this. Whether his case goes to trial or whatever may happen. You might want to go ahead and tell your other friends that you are just having some problems with your husband just to get them to give you some space and allay their anger towards you. They are going to suspect something anyway if you aren't doing anything together and you won't leave the house. I would also investigate and get as much information as I could from the police as to the crime and why they think your husband did it. Hopefully some of this helps even though my situation is different from yours. The one thing that is apparent is that you are going to have to create some changes for yourself to make your life better and they will be hard but very very worth it.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
This is awful; I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. I think a separation at LEAST until the trial is over is a good idea, and you really should see a therapist, and you may want to consider seeing a therapist or counselor together.
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 10 years
Wow- I wish that i had really good advice here. But i am really sorry that you are in this situation. I agree with the recommendation to talk to a therapist. TINA!
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 10 years
Wow; I'm so accustomed to seeing everyday type problems posted here -- this is a serious shock. I don't wish to be indelicate, but may I ask why you are feeling that he may not be innocent? (I know you're feeling a little something in your gut, but is there more to it?) I mean, is there any reason (any at all) for you to think it may have happened? Did he have an extreme change in behavior seventeen years ago? Do you remember him actually behaving in a totally bizarre manner? A temporary separation during all this stress might do well for you -- you need some space to think about all of this. (What an awful thing to happen. I'm so sorry for you and your children -- and your husband, if he's innocent.)
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