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#177842 - 09/02/07 09:20 PM Any advise on how to help him ?
whitetara Offline
New Here

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 7
Hi folks. I'm so glad to find this message board. My boyfriend recently disclosed to me that he was sexually abused repeatedly as a child. We have been having problems for awhile with intimacy and I kept thinking it was me....I wasn't pretty to him anymore, he was bored with me etc...he kept telling me that it wasn't anything to do with me, but I didn't believe him. Now he that he has told me that intimacy makes him uncomfortable because of what happened to him I am so sad for him and me and angry at whoever did this to him. He has become so distant and I feel that there sometimes is no hope of me reaching him. Do any of you have advise with how to proceed? I want to help him in anyway that I can but I really don't know what to do.

#177851 - 09/02/07 10:49 PM Re: Any advise on how to help him ? [Re: whitetara]
user2007 Offline

Registered: 08/14/07
Posts: 346
Hello, Whitetara
I don't think I can give you any advices (mainly because I'm young to be able to say anything that makes sense to adults) but I can tell ya one thing.

When sb discloses to another person it means a lot. It means you were stronger than your shame and fear to open yourself to sb. It means not only that you want help but that you trust that person enough to ask for that. And this means much more than you believe it does. At least it meant for me.

I also can tell ya that when you disclose you are giving the most embarassing truth you can give to someone. And for that you ask sth in return too (even if it's unconsciously): you ask that person to understand you and try to help you, and not to point the finger in your face and blame you. That's kinda personal for me, but I believe it's the same for everybody. We, victims of sexual abuse, have a tendancy to think that the guilty is ours. It may not make sense but it's how it is.

So, please, I ask you if you can: Never for one second say or do sth that gives to understand that this guilty is his. This can certainly kill a person. This guilty is a burden too heavy for anyone to carry.

I hope sb can give you a real advice,

"Yes, I'm grounded
Got my wings clipped
I'm surrounded by
All this pavement"

~ John Mayer

#177987 - 09/03/07 09:07 AM Re: Any advise on how to help him ? [Re: user2007]
brokensoul Offline

Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 101
Hello whitetara,

I am new here and have posted a few times trying to help others so far no one has posted back telling me I'm crazy. So I'll see if I can give some insight based on my feelings. Please keep in mind that every survivor is different in there responses and emotions.
I feel that I need to say that I have never been to a t the only help I have ever had was from my wives/girlfriends.

As Julian touched on your B/F must have trust in you to disclose his abuse to you. And you are a special person to not run away.

I can tell you if he is able to get a T that will help him a bunch. If not or till then I think there are somethings that can be done.

Something that I believe is important is anytime the two of you talk about his feelings or SA that it is done in a calm way. I think us male survivors are more pron to shutting down when we are stressed. I also believe that when either you or he want to talk that you make a safe place to do so.

Turn off the T.V.and radio but play music that is the lightest that he listens to. light some candles you know what I'm talking about. Let him know that you just want to be close that is all. make some small talk and then if he is relaxed. Let him know that you want to try to help him. Tell him that you don't want to talk about his abuse but his feelings. Let him know that you need to know what is upsetting him so you can help him avoid those things. If at anytime he starts getting upset ask him if it is ok to change the subject. Try not to get upset yourself and don't take it personally if you don't get far. Give him some time then make that safe place often but wait to see if he starts to talk first if not just make small talk.

You mention problems with intimacy this is a common. The two of you need to talk about this in that safe place. But for now try to keep it to how he feels and not why he feels this way. It can stem from many reasons. There may be ways to work around some of them. I know it is hard to believe but there might be something that you do or that is a part of the intimacy that may trigger him. If the two of you can narrow it down then it can be avoided. Sometimes a perp will use intimacy as a means of control. This makes for emotions that really needs the help of someone trained in SA.

The distance that you feel is unintentional I believe most of the time disclosing to someone comes with a flood of emotions and memories even more so if this is the first time he has talked about his abuse ever. Creating that safe place can help there as well.

Julian says he is young but he has a good grasp on some of the most important parts of helping a survivor. as he said help your B/F understand that whatever happened is not his fault. Try to help him rebuild his self esteem.

Don't forget about yourself in all of this. I would think it would be too easy to get so wrapped up in helping your B/F that you may not realize your own stress level. So take time for yourself to decompress.

I hope this helps.

#178008 - 09/03/07 02:52 PM Re: Any advise on how to help him ? [Re: brokensoul]
nicky Offline

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 261

Edited by nicky (04/27/08 05:48 AM)
i like the rain cause no one knows im crying

a strong man is one who is able to control himself when he is angry
what is your definiton of control?

i lay awake another hour
just like the one before
the shadows play a game with my head
i can't take this anymore

#178025 - 09/03/07 05:52 PM Re: Any advise on how to help him ? [Re: whitetara]
whitetara Offline
New Here

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 7
Thanks Julian, Brokensoul and Nicky,

The thoughts and feelings of people who have been through this mean a lot to me. I don't think it matters how young or old you are Julian. I talked to him a little last night to let him know that he can talk to me or not talk to me about how he feels anytime and also told him that if I am being affectionate or flirty and it brings up negative feelings or thoughts for him that it is completely ok for him to ask me to stop or do something different and that even though it is hard for me to understand, I won't be mad at him or stop loving him... but it is really hard for me. I am very affectionate and would love nothing more than if he could feel safe to reach out to me. But I guess he has in a way by telling me about the SA. He seemed to hear what I was saying but changed the subject and didn't seem to want to talk about it. I am going to continue to try and be patient.

thanks so much,

#178027 - 09/03/07 06:16 PM Re: Any advise on how to help him ? [Re: whitetara]
brokensoul Offline

Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 101

I think you are doing great helping him. Like I said he may just be trying to figure out a ton of things in his mind right now. Hopefully he will see that he has support from you and no longer has to bare this weight alone. I have hate that those that are wanting and are helping survivors with abuse often become second victims of our abuse. Sometimes we see this and try to insulate our loved ones from it thinking we are doing a good thing.

Stay strong.


#178216 - 09/04/07 04:58 PM Re: Any advise on how to help him ? [Re: brokensoul]
Agape Girl Offline

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 120
Loc: New Jersey, USA

I'm sorry for the confusion that you are experiencing right now with your partner. I'm new here too, however I have been experienceing the same feelings with my bf as well. I have to tell you though, your ahead of me in that he has told you that the CSA is making it difficult for him to be intimate with you. That's a big step for him to tell you, I'm sure you can imagine. Although my bf and I are intimate together, it's becoming less and less as the T digs deeper and deeper into his CSA. I've asked him if he's still attracted and he always responds yes to me but never once has he said to me, "It's my CSA not at all, you"...I persoanlly would feel better I think, if he said to me what your partner has said to you. I would even dare to say, I could turn off my intimate needs if he said that to me. I hope I haven't offended you with my response, it's just a thought I've had, and was hoping to give you another perspective on the intimacy you two share. I wish you both the best on your healing.


means selfless love of one person for another
without sexual implications
(especially love that is spiritual in nature)

#178229 - 09/04/07 06:25 PM Re: Any advise on how to help him ? [Re: whitetara]
whitetara Offline
New Here

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 7
thanks for your post Agape Girl. I was not offended at all. It is good to hear from someone else going through similar issues. This is all really hard and even though I wouldn't wish anyone else to go through the after effects of CSA it is reassuring to hear from others out there.

with gratitude,



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