When my client came into my office she wasn’t smiling.
She immediately sat down beside me with her head hanging low.
Slowly she uttered words out of her mouth that I will never forget.
“How could he do this to me? I am his wife.”
In her eyes, he was her knight and shining armor.
The tears streamed down her face. Her bottom lip was quivering and her legs where shaking impatiently.
She looked me in my eyes and made a confession no wife ever wants to make.
“My husband has been raping me.”
She wondered if that was even possible. A husband, raping his wife feels almost an impossible thought when one tries to wrap their mind around it.
“I put my all into this man and this is what he does.” Her voice built up with pain, tension, and frustration after every word.
I reached my arms over the coffee table and grabbed some tissue. I placed one hand around her back while extending the other to hand her the tissue. She went on to reveal how their marriage was everything she could dream of for years.
However, all of a sudden he just changed.
“We just drifted apart.” She said, trying to convince herself.
I just sat there, listening intently, being as supportive as possible.
“He works a lot and I’m consumed with the kids, starting my new business, church commitments. By the end of the week I’m exhausted.”
It sounded briefly as if she was trying to blame herself for his bad behavior.
“After work he sometimes stops at the bar and has drinks. He comes home intoxicated, typically after the kids are asleep and I’m in bed.”
Her heart seemed to be beating faster by the minute as she shared her story.
“I’ve told him no on many occasions. But he just tells me that I can’t say no to him. That because we are married, I have to give him sex whenever he wants it.”
She confided that after telling him no repeatedly, she eventually gives in because he is so much stronger than her.
“I lay there in silence feeling powerless.”
She looked up and asked if a husband raping his wife was possible and if she is wrong to feel the way she does.
“What can I do?” She asked with a tone of sadness in her voice.
I continued to hold her and rock her back and forth as she continued to cry.
“My dear, rape doesn’t only happen to certain individuals under certain conditions. Yes, you can be married and raped by your spouse. It is called marital rape or spousal rape.”
I let her know that the act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent is the formal definition of marital rape. I went on to share how it is also a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
As a married Christian, sex should be consensual between two individuals who are expressing their love for one another.
Under NO circumstances should a man force his wife to have sex with him.
“No means No at the end of the day.” I told her, eye to eye.
Here are a few things that I shared with my client that I will share with you if your spouse has sexually assaulted you too.
First, please report the rape right away to the police.
I know that many women are ashamed to admit that their being raped by their spouse but a rapist must face consequences. It is also critical that you remember that you are not alone.
Secondly, contact the victim services in your area. Every city has dedicated resources for women that have been sexually assaulted. They can play a critical role in helping to remove you and your children out of the home and into a safe environment.
And most importantly, take it one day at a time. Get a counselor, life coach, therapist, or join a support group. Build community and fellowship with other women who have also been victims of spousal rape.
The sooner you take the first step the sooner you can start to move forward and heal from the inside, out. Doing so is God’s plan for you. Remember, he never wants you to endure shame, suffering, or any kind of abuse.