Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Home Advice How Do I Help My Wife Heal From Her Painful Family Secret?

How Do I Help My Wife Heal From Her Painful Family Secret?

Please post this cos I want people to advise and also learn from my story. So,I met my wife 8 years ago. She was a shy lady at the Camp but her singing voice was phenomenal. She had just joined our parish and joined the choir. Very simple and kind.

I knew instantly she was my wife. She had everything I wanted in a wife and mother. When I was courting her,she told me she did not have a good relationship with her step dad (her dad is late) cos he was mean to her while growing up. I just encouraged her to forgive him and work on their relationship/

All was fine until we got married. I noticed my wife did not like s*x as much. I figured it was cos she was shy and I tried my best to teach her and be patient with her. When we had our first child,a baby boy,I threw a party during our naming. Only my wife’s mother came even though I invited both her dad and mom.

I  thought maybe the seeing their grandchildren will help my wife and her father begin to bond again. But that did not happen. My wife does not speak to her dad…at our wedding,they hardly spoke too.

We had a set of twin girls last year. It was great joy,double blessings. I insisted on having both parents including mine with friends and other members to come for the naming. My wife’s dad did not show up. I was not happy so I told my wife,we will go and see him with our babies like when the babies are old enough to travel.

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My wife vehemently refused,saying we will not go to see her dad …over her dead body,etc. I knew there was more. So,I asked my wife to tell me why she does not want to ever reconcile with her step dad.

She broke down and started to cry. She made me vow not to tell anyone,that her step dad used to rape her when she was a child. she got pregnant for him twice and it was aborted. Her mother is aware but her mother begged her not to reveal to anyone cos the man used to be violent towards the mother.

Their extended family members also helped to cover this evil cos they said its an abomination,the family will be ostracized if this comes out of the light. That means,their entire family will be banded from their home town.

My wife endured this until she left their home in ss3 to live with a relative until she graduated from university. So,this is a closely guarded family secret and my wife opened up how she has night mares almost everyday but she had been trying to move on.

I was shocked at what I learnt…shocked that her mother still lives with the man who raped and impregnated her daughter. Shocked that everyone is covering up this evil. I told my wife the best way to move on and heal is to forgive him and go to therapy.

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Initially she refused but later she agreed. So,please can you refer a good therapist for my wife? Also,please post this so people can help me understand if we can do anything about this…how will my wife ever …even the mother…what should we do…

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Should I just keep quiet like I heard nothing…that woman maybe living in fear…but what can one do..knowing that if this gets out,the fear of being ostracized is there….

Meanwhile,my wife’s mother must not know that my wife told me….she said that would be like betrayal and her mother may never forgive her…I am truly conflicted on what to do but I think I want to start with my wife first,,,how do I help her even heal from the horror she had been through?

Please advise…


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A passionate people and godly relationship advocate!...Trained Psychologist and Human Resources Practioner. A seasoned Marriage and relationship counsellor. A mother, wife, sister, friend and daughter. J


  1. Hello Sir,

    Thank you for reaching out and being a good man. Unfortunately what your wife needs is not a quick fix.

    Yes,we can help you scout for a therapist. However,you need to be a helper and protector to her now,knowing what she has past through.

    She needs to heal. Therapy and prayers will get through this. But let the father stay away for now. The father needs to ask for her forgiveness but even if he does not..with time,she will come to forgive him as that is a vital part of a successful therapy.

    As for her mother,she obviously lives in fear too and ignorance. She needs to understand that her mother is a victim of their culture where women do not speak against their husbands or they will be banned. Let her forgive her mother too for her healing and peace of mind.

    Just be very prayerful and supportive…teach your wife to lean on you and trust you to tell you what she is feeling…in other words…be an emotional support system for her.

    She will be find with your support and prayers but it will take time. Don’t give up on her. She needs you to be the father she never had and a very understanding husband.

    God will help you both…you are already on the right track….hold on to your faith in each other and God to guide you through.

    God bless.


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