I am currently in the middle of a difficult divorce and custody dispute. Three years into our almost five year marriage, my husband admitted to me that his older sister of five years had begun raping him and his slightly older brother repeatedly over the span approximately ten years, beginning when my husband was age seven. The brother effectively put an end to this abuse by the time he was big enough to beat his older sister up but, my husband did not stop it until, he was 15 or 16. My husband has admitted in front of two marriage counselors, and both my and his individual therapists, that although this trauma affects him every min of every day feels tremendous guilt because he physically liked how the incest felt and that he loves his sister deeply and she was always so nice to him. He feels as if she is somewhat of a mother-figure, as throughout their respected childhood, their own mother had divorced their father and was very neglectful. Their mother has laughingly admitted numerous times that although she sees her adult children all the time now, she was a very "bad mother." The children often use the term "alcoholic" in regards to her.
To this day, my husband has a very, very close, "best-friend" relationship with his sister, visiting her and her four kids regularly and talking often on the phone. During the marriage he would constantly defend her, often disregarding her constant bullying of him. He always choose to protect her and take her "side" over mine, even when her bullying extended to me and our daughter. During intimate moments between us he has called out her name.
My husband just started seeking private therapy for this situation. He has never, at least up until our separation, mentioned this abuse or how it affects him to his sister or mother, even though the brother tried to years before and was met with much denial and shunning. The sister dodged being served and the mother (who just so happens to be an ex-matrimonial lawyer) lied throughout her deposition, denying all claims.
I believe that this trauma and the subsequent unnatural relationship with the abusive sister and family, clouds his judgement when it comes to leaving our daughter ALONE in their care. My aim above all is to keep her safe. He truly loves his daughter and I don't think he would intentionally want to hurt her. I don't want to jeopardize our daughter's relationship with her father, either. My declaration, that my husband refuses to agree to, simply states that I am requesting my husband's presence when our daughter is with his sister and her grandmother, and that our daughter doesn't ride in a vehicle that his mother is driving.
To complicate matters, during mediation, the mediator, with thirty years of experience in the family courts, felt extremely uncomfortable with the fact that the incestuous relationship between my husband and his sister was not an "isolated incident" that occurred as experimentation between young children, but rather was something that occurred multiple times for many years until they were teens and young adults. She felt strongly that my husband was not just a victim, but a willing participant in the matter, that did not deny the allegations when questioned. She believed it was her duty to report this matter, and now Child Protective Services became immediately involved.
I have decided to continue onward with 50-50 custody plan (that was immediately agreed to by my husband following HIS failed ex-parte custody grab) and to trust that my husband will in good faith protect our incredibly well adjusted, strong willed and precocious four year old daughter (who I believe would most likely speak up if she ever felt uncomfortable), instead of going onward to a court hearing that, not only will be very costly, but very well may be unsuccessful due to my husband's and his family's lying and my lack of enough "non-hearsay" evidence.We cannot use our therapists as witnesses because my husband wont waive the right. Although, my husband wants me to no longer pursue these claims, the involvement of CPS will continue.
Should I have pushed harder to go to trial? and, besides the fact that it's unbelievably creepy, should I have faith that CPS is involved and be satisfied that if they find damning evidence they will pursue it to the end?
I know this is a mouthful! Please advise me! ↓