The Biggest Obstacle to Her Healing…

…Was me. “It’s not fair,” but it’s me. “But I just acted like any normal husband would.” It’s still me. “But she promised to take care of me.” It’s still me. Sigh…

It’s taken a while for me to get here, but this truth started seeping into my consciousness in spite of myself. I rebelled against it and fought it. I screamed and pointed my finger at her, but three still pointed back at me.

I don’t know your situation, but 2 months into our marriage, I “insisted” we be intimate while staying at her mother’s. Things were never the same after that. No matter how hard I tried to make it up to her. No matter how hard I tried to “lead by example” and love her selflessly hoping that she might respond in kind. It was too late. And when it never happened, I pouted. Sometimes I yelled. Sometimes I wanted to end it, me, something.

“But I’m a good husband!” Yes, that’s probably true. But good isn’t good enough in a DID marriage. And now I understand why I am one of the essential keys to my wife’s healing. It isn’t because I can “make” her get healed, but it’s because her defender catalogued every time I failed. Every time I was selfish. Every time I was human.

I LOVE Alleylieu, my wife’s defender, but she never got the benefit of seeing me at my best. She only came out when I screwed up, protected Shelly, and then went back inside until the next storm. And she was there for each time of intimacy that wasn’t 100% safe feeling for my wife. So in Alleylieu’s mind, I was enemy number one. The enemies of Shelly’s childhood were now replaced with an enemy that Alleylieu couldn’t keep everyone safe from…ever. Me.

But this isn’t a me-bashing monologue or of husbands in general. I did NOT know. I did NOT understand. Who does unless you’ve lived it? Now I do. So I have spent the last 24 months reaching out to my wife’s defender. At first Debby (first insider out) and Shelly simply told me that she, Alexandra (at the time), only spewed venom at me in their head. But they kept most of that from me.

I just kept reaching out. Daily emails. Buying gifts. Verbalizing apologies. Playing games over the internet with her and Debby. Playing dolls, giving baths (to the youngest), doing facials and “girl” things. Changing my demands and expectations of Shelly in the bedroom and elsewhere. Becoming a safe person for the other insiders that Alleylieu allowed out. Becoming a safe person for her, Alleylieu. Knowing I was being tested. Each time I failed, she came out to reprimand me, and I would pick myself back up and with tears try again. Everyone hurt, but I chose to be the stronger and stop the hurting.

And slowly as I reached out to my wife’s defender, seeking to mend our relationship just as I would with any outsider, things began to change. Alleylieu saw my change and has responded to the love I have showered upon her and the others. She even says, “I love you” back …sometimes. That makes me feel good. Alleylieu still wonders if I will change back. She is still working through our stormy past. But as I have removed myself as the biggest threat in Alleylieu’s (and the others’) life, it has enabled her, Debby and my wife, Shelly, to address the beginning of the trauma instead of simply being on alert for “the danger still present.”

Conclusion: I hesitate posting this on wordpress where mostly women frequent. I admit that it was a hard lesson for me to learn, and one that took a lot of journaling to work through the pain and anger that I felt in connection with it. So even if you can never share this with your husband, maybe this will help you understand what may be going on in your system.

Oh, and yes, I was given Alleylieu’s permission to post it!




9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Beehive 27
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 23:58:10

    I really admire you, though, even if you think you aren’t doing well. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have a spouse with DID. I have DID and I wonder if I will ever find someone who could do what you do every day. Thanks for sharing.



  2. undercoverdid
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 09:38:24

    Thank you for sharing this. I know your struggle is hard and it is hard for me to watch my own husband struggle. I never expect him to go the extreme you have gone, but I hope one day we will find a place to meet in the middle so that we can focus on the great parts of our marriage not this 5%. Hearing your story helps me know that my husband’s struggles are real and it is not easy for him to understand my internal world and my past. I appreciate the post and the support you have given to me.


  3. liz taylor
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 22:56:27

    thank you for this post…


    • Sam Ruck
      Apr 18, 2010 @ 12:39:57

      Hi Liz,

      I hope you and your husband are doing well. My wife got admitted to the hospital yesterday for a kidney infection but her girls are doing really well. Plus we’re hoping this might be a little healing for them because the one insider was severely traumatized by her hospital visits as a child. They love “rewards” for being good (Just like any normal outside child) and they really have done so well for the shots and everything. I try to sleep in the room with them which helps a lot but I can tell a lot of healing has happened since the last time she was in (18 months) ago for emergency bowel obstruction surgery.


      • onesurvivor
        Apr 21, 2010 @ 11:52:20

        You have written a lot of important things here. I am glad that you share and that Alleylieu gave her permission. 🙂

        I also hope your wife gets better real soon and does experience healing on multiple levels…pun intended. 🙂

  4. Sandra (@SandraHeretic)
    May 25, 2013 @ 19:58:51

    Sam, I just found your blog today and I’ve scrolled all the way back here to the beginning to read the whole thing. I am fairly sure that I am a We; I have suspected it since I was a teenager (way back in 1980) but only in the last month have my Inner Voices “come out” as something more than metaphor.

    I have floated the idea past a few of my healing partners (doctors, friends) who seem excited about the idea but can’t really confirm or doubt my….condition?…self-diagnosis?…state?…whatever. I haven’t told my husband. I’ve been a mess physically for the last 6 years with what I call my hysterical illness (because so many doctors have suggested that I am hysterical, not physically ill, and because dealing with this state of unwellness is just hysterical; can’t you see me laughing?) and he has been one of the many “its all in your head” proponents. He has only barely begun to be truly accepting of the fact that I really am not just suddenly, after twenty years of marriage, lazy or crazy or stupid.

    Although I have always known that I grew up fundamentalist Christian (preacher’s daughter, three generations of religious zealotry), that it had left deep and painful grooves in my psyche, it was only a year ago in a healing session that I became aware that holes existed in my understanding of my growing up years. That there were all these clues about abuse, probably incest, that I had given other much-less-logical explanations for. And I began a year of near-panicked searching for the memories that would fill in the blanks.

    I’m interested in this blog because you write from outside a “system”, outside the conventional therapy setting, yet within a Christian experience of life. Making sense of my religion is an integral part of making sense of my childhood relationships and crucial to for achieving any sense of holism in my psyche.


    • Sam Ruck
      May 25, 2013 @ 22:48:36

      Hi Sandra,

      thanks for stopping by. My wife/girls and I just started a 3 1/2 week vacation to celebrate our 25th anniversary. So I’ll be in and out, but try to answer any questions I can whenever I have internet access. I’m by no means an expert, but this is our experience and maybe it will help you.

      Yes my wife and I both grew up in Christian homes. Hers was more conservative than mine, though. And I’m still trying to make sense of my disappointment in God because although He definitely has NOT done anything miraculous to help my wife heal, yet how I am helping my girls is definitely based on what was pounded into me during my childhood, Bible college and afterwards. In fact, I put a Bible study at the top of my blog (Heaven on Earth) that really formed the basis for transforming how I used to relate to my wife into the way that provided the necessary basis for me to give her the support that she would need on this healing journey. So, no miracles, disenchanted with all the promises in the Bible, and yet following biblical principles to help my wife heal and her progress has been astounding so far.

      If you keep reading, I’ll look forward to talking to you more!



  5. not ready to disclose
    Jun 15, 2013 @ 04:27:09

    Hello Sam, your blog found me just now speaking to me. I came to the start. My husband of 27 years has been diagnosed with DID about 6 months ago. Your journey I can relate to. I was 18 when I met my husband. At times it has been so hard. Thank you for sharing your story.


    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 19, 2013 @ 00:06:05


      welcome to my little blog. My wife and I just celebrated 25 years yesterday. I definitely understand your pain. I hope to hear from you again.



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