Tough one, because if she is telling the truth and you don't believe her, she will be angry at you forever and think you were sticking your head in the sand yet again, and if he is telling the truth and you don't believe him, he will be really hurt, possibly to permanent damage in the marriage. If you have to know the truth in order to keep living with him, ask them both to take polygraph tests.
Alternatively, you could explain to your daughter that you either have to believe her and leave your husband, or not believe her and possibly compound the pain she felt as a child. Ask her how she would feel if you stayed with your husband without knowing if what she says is true or not.
I agree this is very hard. I have heard of cases where children confront their mothers, and suddenly the mothers realize that it all makes sense - the dad would encourage the mom to leave for hours at a time, or would take the child on vacations where the child didn't seem to want to go, etc.
It's much much harder if you're in a situation where it doesn't make sense - where when you look at it very carefully it still remains hard to believe.
Your sentence about 'this is the only time she's ever given him any attention at all' referring to the brother caught my eye, and I'd be interested in hearing more about the family dynamics. And that made your son turn his back on his parents.
I think I would talk to your son and ask him specifically why he "wholeheartedly" believes his sister when he was also surprised at this, and what has made him turn his back on his parents. I think that might be the information you need.
Exactly. As difficult as it will be, I need to know the truth. One of them is lying. Unless she has "false memories" which I have heard of. She was sexually assaulted freshman year of college and went to therapy. Actually she has accused a handful of men of innappropriate sexual conduct (never rape and not now either) - fellow students, co-workers and roommates. Not sure if that is relevant or a coincidence. She is a beautiful girl but seems odd. I have asked them both to take a lie detector test and he has agreed but she will not. He also went to the police and she would not. She wanted me to leave him immediately when she told me, didn't seem to want me to confront him, which I had to do, and he denied it all. He tried to talk to her but she refused. I am hurting them both because I don't know what to believe or how to decide. Living in limbo is terrible.
Well it does make her behavior and hostility since a teenager make sense. She changed around 16 and seemed so angry especially me but dad too. This was the time where she became sexually active and I chalked it up to hormones, school stress and being a teenager. She says she was lashing out. As far as it making sense during her childhood, it doesn't. She says it was going on as far back as she can remember (5?) and "pretty much stopped" when her brother was born, she was 7, and that it happened in our bed when she would come cuddle with us in our bed in the morning and I would go take a shower for work. I stayed home for a few years after having her brother. I am trying to keep a relationship with my son but it is strained. He at least realizes the part about me "knowing" all these years is not true. I would never ignore anyone hurting a child and he knows that. He has not and will not speak to his father. Not really relevant but he is gay and came out about 16 we have both been very supportive but it has been a difficult road for him. He always adored his sister but she was very mean to him. She pretty much never called or visited us or him after leaving for college, even when her brother was in an accdent. I asked him why he believes her 100% and he says he just knows its true and doesn't ever want to hear dads side. He admits he never saw or felt anything inappropriate. This is all so shocking to me. I thought we had a great family life. Not perfect, but good.
There's really nothing for her to gain by lying about this, except humiliation and embarrassment. It's VERY rare for people to make things like that up, but VERY common for molestors to lie about it and seem like nice normal people. Please believe your daughter!
To be honest, nearly the exact thing happened to me and it has pretty much ruined my life. As her mother,you are all that she has! Im not trying to scare you, but do not be surprised if she becomes suicidal especially if you don't believe her.
First I want to say that I am very sorry that you are having to go through this, its an awful position to be in. I am a 52 y/o male who was abused by an older brother from the age of about 9-11. I was also abused by one of his friends as well and often at the same time. Just my opinion but I would believe your daughter 100%. For her to come forward and being this to light took a lot of strength. We "the abused" know that once we say something we risk being turned on by those who are suppose to love us. I didn't confront my brother until the past few years. It was brought up at my mothers funeral and since that day I haven't spoken to any of my siblings. "He is crazy" is what they are saying. That's ok with me though, it was a secret that I felt ashamed of and why should I feel shame. And yes, my brother is the Golden Child, no one would ever believe he could do something like this. HE DID and he did it to ME!
This also caused problems with my mother and myself. I think we get upset because we believe they were suppose to protect us when we are kids and they failed. I went to counseling for years and my doc ask me what good would it do to tell my mother, it was so long ago that I should just forget it. Unfortunately I can't forget it. Putting it plainly, it messed me up real bad. I did confront my mother and she denied knowing anything.. Somehow I still don't believe her because it stopped as suddenly as it started.
If you don't mind my giving advice. Have you confronted your husband? If he loves you and your daughter he should be willing to take a lie detector test. I know sounds kinda crazy, but if I could get my brother to take one, my name would be clear. Perhaps she could take one also... Its such a delicate subject its really hard to say.
People also worry...What if he takes the test and fails. Will he do something bad to himself? My family would rather call me a liar than face the fact that we have an abuser in the family. Its easier to support him than it is me. The reason, well, "we don't do that in this family"... we did and I am paying the price. From reading your story, I understand your daughters anger etc..... I don't think she is angry with you as much as she is the situation. She has her guard up with you because she probably feels that you have to take sides and you are going to take your husbands side... I think this is something you have to get resolved or it will only fester....Confront your husband and don't accuse him but rather ask for his help to prove it didn't happen so you can help your daughter. If he refuses, more than likely he is guilty.. What father wouldn't do anything for his girl--anything! If he is innocent he shouldn't have a prpblem taking a lie detector test.
Sorry to be so long, its just that this is still a hot topic with me even at this very moment. My heart goes out to you and your daughter...
Petie, thank you for taking the time to share and I'm so sorry for what happened to you. Children should never have to endure such pain. I am heartbroken to think my own child did and I did not protect her. I cry thinking that she thinks I would look the other way because I would never. I have confronted my husband and went back and forth believing them because they are both so convincing. She refuses to confront him, go to counseling or the police or take a lie detector test where as he is willing to do any and did go to the police but only a victim can open a case. He has scheduled a polygraph for next week and says he will be exonerated but nobody will ever look at him the same again after what she has done. It's all so sad either way.
Thank you Rosa. I know what you say is true statistically but sometimes it does happen and I want to know the truth. He will take a polygraph next week but she refuses to take any action - not that it makes her the one lying. Since you have been through this, can I ask you something that I keep thinking of - she says it happened for a few years when she was like 5-7 but her whole life was daddys girl and wrote him (not me) these sweet letters all the time even up to 18 years old saying he was her favorite person in the world and she wanted find a man just like him to be the father of her children. Does that seem odd to you, can you imaging writing something like that to your dad?
oops, in the last paragraph, (heR continuing to come into bed)
MOM, the way you describe the incidents, I 100% believe her. Women do have "found" memories, that are often untrue, but she's got a clear memory of times when you know they were alone in bed.
Sexual abuse is so difficult. You ask is it odd that she wrote those love letters to him, and no, it makes it even more likely that it's true. It's a twisty, sad dynamic that girls who have been molested often want nothing as much as they want the approval of their molester, if he is someone they loved to begin with.
And they blame others who did nothing, and knew nothing.
Children who are abused and then immediately make an outcry, and get help and the abuse ends, usually fare pretty well. They heal pretty well and feel empowered by their own actions.
Children who don't make an outcry, and in fact take actions to facilitate the abuse (he continuing to come into bed with you for years after the first incident) fare very poorly. Although it's not their fault, they are left with the feeling of "why did I do that"? "why didn't I try to make it stop"?
Is your daughter in therapy?
Okay, so i have a different take on this. I grew up in a co dependent home. Lot's of chaos. It affected all four children differently. One an addict (myself) my step brother an alcoholic, my brother a wife beater, and my sister a compulsive liar and manipulator. My sister had a laundy list of people abusing her "sexually", Then i grew up and there came a time when i was in her world. She took a great deal of time trying to get me to say that i had been sexually abused by my father. My father was a major prick, however, he never sexually assaulted me. She hated him and wanted him to pay for pass deeds that didn't suit her. Then, my son was born. And my sister, in an attempt to have me ousted out of my son's life, called the authorities and said that my son had been abused by my "friends" It took some time to go through the process, but it was found "unfounded" What they call "unfounded" i call out and out lying by a messed up manipulator.
So that's my story.
Your husband is willing to exonerate himself. And your daughter is not. I'm pretty sure that it will become clear that your daughter is lying, at least about her dad. I doubt very much your daughter will take the test, but if she does, perhaps it would be beneficial to have the question's asked about the others who '"allegedly" raped or molested her. For her benefit, it would be healthy to know if your daughter may need help herself. I think this may be a case of young lady looking for attention, or the fall of another, and that she might need help herself.
I do not automatically believe adult children. And would need proof of their convictions before destroying a person's life. Not only that, i'd be sure to discuss it with them in no uncertain terms. "You have an opportunity to prove what you are saying, the fact that you are not, is suspect, to say the least".
Just another opinion, based on experience.