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.
I tend to believe he did molest her. You're husband is hurt because you're not 100% behind him on this. That's manipulative.
Nighthawk... You do not know the daughter is lying. Me for instance told my mom that my step dad had molested me since iIwas about 5 years old. She ccontacted the authorities and when it all got started and they did exams on me after that Itold them iIwas lying bbecause Iddidn'twant my younger siblings to be without a father like I was. I was 13 when i finally told. So trust me Iwwouldn't just "assume" she is lying
I'm not assuming she is lying, i am assuming the father may not be lying as he is willing to go and get a lie detector test. Someone here said that their father was a "serial killer" and that he could lie undetected. I'm not sure of the statistics, but i don't think that a good man never in trouble and completely blown away by this alleged occurrence would be able to lie as easily as a serial killer. Incidentally. I 'm so sorry for the family of the serial killer. That's terrible.
Just to clarify, is your husband a good man? has he been a good father, or have there been problems that have occurred because he has mental problems.? Do you otherwise have a good marriage and you consider him to be a good father? Did he have a record when you met him.?
Alternately, did your daughter get caught in lies as a child? was she somewhat deceitful as a child? Would she have any reason to hate her father enough to break you away from him.?
I am not discounting the abuse others have suffered only telling my truth about my sister who lied many times about sexual abuse, and also had her teenage daughter lie about her step father abusing her. After awhile, the alleged offender went back to live with them both. I only have my experience to share. I respect all experiences given on this forum.
I do consider him a good father, a good man, a good person whom I have never seen do anything mean or malicious to anyone. Yet I have observed that she can be mean and malicious and have watched her be very cruel to other children when young and later to girl friends and then her boyfriends. And she has accused others - friends, room mates, co-workers but not been willing to take action. I understand none of these mean she is lying now. We certainly were not perfect parents, and we had kids young, but we were dedicated to our kids and to providing a healthy happy home - it was our priority. She doesn't seem to hate him like she hates me (she now says because I did not protect her from him). She was always daddy's little girl. I don't discount anyone's abuse either, it's a very real and painful situation for many. Honestly, I previously thought it was always stepdads and never knew it happened with biological fathers, but now have read a lot and that was my own misconception I have angered some people by not just believing my daughter but I have tried to keep an open mind and they are both convincing, obviously complicated by the fact that I love them both very much. All I want is the truth so we can all move forward.
I can't wait to hear how your husband did with the lie detector test.
You can't be a people pleaser, when it comes to displacing the man you married out of high school. You need to be very disciplined about being full apprised of all possibilities, and i think you're doing that well. It's not like you're going to cut your daughter off even if she is lying. Hopefully, when a kid acts out, their parents will be able to catch it, whatever it is , and get them help. But, as i said, the last thing my sister was into, was a diagnosis, but it's like the kid crying wolf at this point. She was simply too dangerous to be part of my life. With a kid it's a bit different.
I'm glad to be able to juxtapose both your husband and daughter's personality traits. I think it speaks volumes and needs to be considered.
When you do talk to your daughter, you have to use it as a teaching moment, and not be shy about being honest as to your evaluation of her personality and how that you also have to take it into consideration.
Your daughter is 16 now, right? so you have time, to talk to her with a psychologist before she's off to college. (hopefully). Our kids grow up so much in college, with some family counseling she may have a chance to grow up a bit with the help of family and a professional. I sure wouldn't suggest that you let this go. Fortunately unless she' inclined to be a runner, she will stay at home and take the heat that comes from the type of accusation, just like your husband is taking the heat. And just like you're taking the heat. The worse thing would be to let it go without talking as you are here, being honest about how you truly feel about he subject. Many parents that deny their child'd allegations of the bat, refuse to discuss it at all. They just make a decision on who's lying and repel the person they feel is guilty either of abuse or character assassination. I think there should be a charge for people that malign other people's characters. In some cases there is, like at work, but many times in families it is so repulsive that everyone other than the accuser,, just wants it to go away. The thing is, you need to open up the communication and talk to her about the way she has been treating people. The fact that maybe you haven't only serves to embolden her actions towards other people,
I don't envy how hard it is for your family right now. But i know that in a family there are often struggles, and as long as everyone opens the lines of communication, there's a possibility of healing and progress in relationships.
Want to know the results, I'm waiting with bated breath. i'm thinking of you often. I guess it brings back so many family memories of my own.hey, I lived through it. Nobody died. The human will prevails.
You know i went to the dollar store and thought of something, came back , commented and completely forgot the point i wanted to remember. (that's 55 for you).. So, you're put off because your daughter was Daddy's girl, right? and you're wondering how could she if she was close to Daddy.? and, why so mad at you. You just got hit with this, and it's a big deal to just believe your kid, even though they've shown signs all their life of manipulating people.
Maybe she's jealous of your relationship with your husband. Maybe she see's that you are close. Closer than she and her "daddy" are ,now that she's a) grown and b) changed her personality in a way that 'daddy" may not be thrilled with and is naturally maybe backing away from such a close relationship with her (as she had his unconditional love and attention as a child). A parent will always love their child, but it doesn't mean that they have to unconditionally like their child. Parent's are human too.
Do you think there's a possibility that she is not so much mad at you for choosing to insist to get to the bottom of her accusations, (as oppose to just blind faith and belief) but that she is just jealous of your relationship with her dad. So much so that she is willing to lose her dad? Maybe she' betting that this accusation will provide an opportunity for you to be a loyal follower , of her. , after all, everybody knows that people automatically will believe a child that it is politically correct to automatically believe a chlld, (BUT it is when children become older, young adults, and able to communicate more fully, able to have their own selves looked at critically (i don' t mean harshly, i mean fully) that automatic assumptions of alleged activities Must be looked at. Young adults must prove their allegations.
After all , there are a percentage of young offenders.(not so much with younger children though)...
You bring up many good points and I am grateful for your objectivity, which I am struggling to maintain. Actually she is 27 now. Her anger and hostility began around 16 (coincidentally when she had her first boyfriend?) but this allegation only surfaced last year and she says it is the reason for her hostility the past 10 years. We tried from when she was 16 to get her into counseling but she refused - now I wish I would have forced the issue but I thought she would outgrow her angst. She is graduated from college, living in another state, and to be married next month. My son is also grown, 20, and was away at college when this happened, was derailed dropped out and is still floundering. I have observed her jealousy of my relationship with her father and spoke with her about on a few occasions, encouraging her to respect and appreciate that her parents loved each other and her. I grew up in a home rife with alcoholism and domestic violence and my life goal was to provide my kids a better childhood, and I did my best.
Oops, typo,..this......(But, as i said, the last thing my sister was into, was a diagnosis,) was supposed to read, a Cancer diagnosis, but she had lied so often who knew if it was true or not.
I'm sorry to hear that your son has dropped out because of all of this. I think you should talk to him, if you can, about his talking it out with a therapist. so he can get back to his life again.
Time has a way of showing the guilty party up and also of healing. i pray for both of these for you and your family.
My sister and I both were sexually abused by my former stepfather. When I finally told someone ,my mother and him were not married at the time ,and I did not know he was abusing my sister only me. They broke up for two weeks and he denied it and my mom thought maybe I had back flashes because I was sexually abused when I was younger by a step cousin. So in turn they got back together and she actually married him because everyone believed him. So the abuse stopped for awhile but then started again. I was always a grade A student but I turned to drugs and skipping school and staying away from home as much as possible. I did blame my mom for being blind to the fact. And my sister has so many problems now later on in life she is still on drugs and hates the world and actually just got out of prison for failing a drug test. I think her life would be very different and she wouldnt be so angry if this never happened. I gave my life to Jesus in 2005 and I struggled with forgiving this man for what he had done. I have forgiven him but it has changed my life. You said your daughter is getting married so Im sure this is causing problems with her and her soon to be husband. I did have premarital sex with men but it meant nothing to me because I viewed sex as dirty. It caused a strain on my first husband and I because I had to deal with what happened to me and I didnt even like for him to touch me sometimes. It is really hard to get past that in your life. It took me years after giving my life to Christ before I actually felt like I was healed of the burdens I carried. If I did not have Jesus in my life I believe I would still have issues with it. My first husband and I both gave our life's to the Lord and we had a our daughter together. I thought we had this great life and what a Christian life was supposed to look like. Well after six yes of being married he had an affair and he is now married to that woman. That is very different than what happened to your daughter or to my sister and I but my point is that he denied it to me for over six months and I believed him because when you love someone you cant believe they could do something so terrible even when signs are there. I am very happily remarried to a great Man that loves Jesus and I believe one day that my ex husband will truly come back to his first love,which is Jesus Christ our savior. Your daughter is not jealous of your relationship with you and her father if she has pulled away the past ten years and finally has gotten the courage to deal with what has happened,then she needs support and it will be a long recovery before she can fully deal with this. It affects every part of your life and choices you make until you can fully deal with what happened. She will have major trust issues with her husband and be very protective of her children also.I pray that you will believe your daughter even though it hurts very much because she needs you and everything you explained is similar to my story. Kids lash out for a reason and distance themselves for a reason. I will be praying for you all and your situation. And when you all have grandchildren there will still be problems there. Your husband needs help,child molesters dont just change on there own that drive is still in them. Ultimately God can change them because he can change anyones life but your husband is still in denial because he hasnt even come to terms with what he has done. If you need someone to talk to or pray with or just guidance you can email me at ***@****. Hope me sharing my story helps you and your family
Do adult children lie about sexual abuse? Rarely; there's too much to lose. Do wives of abusers lie to themselves in an effort to justify remaining with their spouses? Oh yes, they absolutely do. I read every single comment in this thread, and I was struck, time and again, at how hard you're working at NOT believing your daughter despite that her words rang true when you first heard them. If it clicked on day one, it should still be clicking now. If you choose to stay with your husband at this point for financial reasons or other concerns, that's on you. Just stop lying to yourself and your child about why you're doing so. You'd never ignore abuse of a child? What then, do you think you're doing now?
You always believe your child. Always. And he is not 100% rightfully hurt because you aren't backing him. Everyone comments the most amazing thing about me is my mothering. He should be 100% supportive and if he is truly innocent then be supportive in getting to the bottom of it and seeking family counseling to get to the bottom of it. I don't agree with it being jealous. You can be a daddy's girl and be his victim of sexual abuse. It's quite horrifying but it really shakes the mind and children have to find ways to cope. And there are many different responses to coping to such tragic situations. A child's mind can only handle so much which is why children often repress or create false realities to cope during sexual abuse. I'm 28 and I have a 6 year old girl. We went through something similar two years ago. Never got to the bottom of it. It was alleged her stepbrother and the first thing her father said (while I'm in tears calling him telling him word for word what she said) is "she's lying". What kind of parent doesn't 100% support that allegation. Every professional will tell you to believe the child until otherwise. Now, her being an adult may change their approach, but you should seek professional advice before backing your husband and believing your daughter is a liar.