cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
Lucy ([personal profile] cereta) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-06-09 01:24 am

Dear Prudence: And now, for something completely horrifying

Dear Prudence,
My husband and I have been married eight years. He works with his brother—they’re pretty close, although they’ve drifted apart over the years thanks to his brother’s hard-partying lifestyle. (My husband and I have a family.) Before we got married, my husband and I had an on-again/off-again relationship. During one of those times, his brother and I remained good friends, and he set me up with a co-worker of his. This co-worker ended up drugging and raping me. It took me a long time to accept that this happened, and I never filed charges. We had been dating for a few months; I’d met his mom and daughter, we’d been intimate many times. It just didn’t make sense.

Now, years later, my husband tells me he overheard his brother bragging to guys on their crew about how his friend would date a girl, then drug her and videotape himself raping her to show others. He also informs me he’d seen this tape of his previous assaults many years ago (his brother had a copy) and never told me. For years I wanted to believe my brother-in-law didn’t know his friend was going to hurt me. Now knowing he practically orchestrated it is tearing me up. The fact that my husband saw this video years ago and never told me has been a crushing blow.

I want to confront my brother-in-law so much and being around him at get-togethers is painful. The problem is he has spiraled in these years from playboy to drug addict and is increasingly self-destructive. If by confronting him I tip him into an overdose, not only would that cause me more pain, I don’t know what would happen between my husband and me. That’s my other problem. This puts my husband in a very tangled middle. I want him to do something but then I don’t know what to expect from him. He carries on like nothing has happened and when I told him it makes me feel worthless that someone can do this to me and not even be confronted, he responds that I’m not going to put a wedge between him and his brother. What should I do?

—Not So Secret

A: I am so sorry that you have been assaulted and betrayed by not one but three men you believed you could trust. Your husband is not in the “very tangled middle” of anything. He and his brother have both known for years that the man who drugged and raped you is a habitual, unrepentant predator who makes a habit of recording and boasting about his crimes, and neither of them have done anything either to protect you or to prevent him from raping again. That he would accuse you now of trying to drive a wedge in between him and his brother by objecting to his continued silence beggars belief. Moreover, if you spoke to your brother-in-law you would not be in any way responsible if he were to later overdose. What your husband and his brother have done is so far beyond the pale of acceptable human behavior that any sort of reconciliation is not only impossible, it’s undesirable. You should not have to spend another night in the same house as a man who saw a video of your rapist’s assaults, knows the same thing later happened to you, and said nothing until now. Your husband is not a good man. His brother is not a good man. Neither one of them deserve your love or your trust. They are not the men you thought they were.

I imagine that right now you must feel disoriented and completely without support. Please consider seeing a therapist who specializes in sexual assault and trauma. You deserve the chance to talk about this with someone who doesn’t try to convince you to “get over it” or keep the peace in the family. Then, at some point you can decide if and how you’d like to contact any authorities (it’s possible you would not be the first to say something, should you choose to). If you need to speak to someone now, or anytime, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE)—it’s free and confidential.
minoanmiss: Minoan lady watching the Thera eruption (Lady and Eruption)

[personal profile] minoanmiss 2017-06-09 06:45 am (UTC)(link)
Oh my God this poor woman.

I know I keep saying I want to raise a fund for various LW but I really want to raise one for this one. I doubt Prudence would be able to accept a donation though.

I'm probably still in shock, because, omg, but I can't fault Prudence's advice here at all.
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)

[personal profile] neotoma 2017-06-09 10:34 am (UTC)(link)
Oh thank god that Prudence actually laid out that 'hey, your husband is terrible too' because I'm pretty sure the LW was trying to avoid realizing that.

I mean, it's not quite Captain Awkward's "Your husband is a House of Evil Bees. Flee now!" but it's up there.
ayebydan: by <user name="pureimagination"> (ambrose)

[personal profile] ayebydan 2017-06-09 07:43 pm (UTC)(link)
This poor woman needs to run and fast :( How utterly horrifying.
shirou: (cloud)

[personal profile] shirou 2017-06-09 09:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm confused by the sequence of events in the original letter. Did the husband, prior to the the LW's recent conversations with him, know that the LW was raped by his brother's friend? Mallory says the husband saw the rape video and knew "the same thing later happened to [the LW], and said nothing until now" but it's unclear to me from the original letter that the husband knew before now.

I'm not sure the answer to this matters because I agree with Mallory's response regardless. Any person who can watch a video of a woman getting raped and not respond with horror (and a phone call to the police) is an awful human being, and the LW should get away from him ASAP. But if the answer is that the husband didn't know about the LW's rape until now and wasn't previously involved in covering it up, at least not directly, then that could explain why the LW appears to have such different feelings about her husband and his brother.