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#340276 - 09/15/10 05:51 PM New Relationship Advice
OpenHeart Offline

Registered: 09/15/10
Posts: 1
Hello all. I am new to this forum and very thankful that I found it. I have been in a monogamous relationship with a man for three months. Initially, it was apparent that there were some sexual issues, ED, etc. During one of these instances, my partner told me that the reason he may have some "issues" is because his first sexual encounter was with a male babysitter, rather that's what I was able to gather from what he described to me. I told him I was very sorry that that had happened to him and that I'm there for him no matter what. I asked how old he was at the time, and he said too young, and I said it wasn't your fault. He said "don't worry, I'm not damaged goods or anything. I'm over it." and I said, I know you're not damaged goods, but that's a really tough thing to go through and its okay to talk about it. He said he didn't want to talk about it, and we haven't since. Fast forward. We're moving in together. We have a wonderful relationship based on love and trust. However, I have learned that he has 2 different moods: sweet and loving, and angry and closed off. He can become angry and closed off on the drop of a dime. He acknowledges this, and says that I "handle" him well. He lashes out at people, can be distant to new acquaintances, says he doesn't feel "sexy", complains about his body, and has had addictions such as drinking and smoking. He also has a very distant and strained relationship with his family, although he works with family. I am now seeing that these may be a result of undealt with issues relating to the sexual abuse experience that he mentioned. I love my boyfriend, and I want to be there for him, but the relationship is still new and we're embarking on a very serious path. I'm concerned that when we move in together, these 'symptoms' may become even more pronounced.
I would be so grateful for advice from partners/spouses who have been in similar situations. Do I proceed with an open heart? Do I proceed with caution? I know I cant force him to talk about it or get help, but I love him, and I don't want these issues to tear us apart.

#340278 - 09/15/10 06:10 PM Re: New Relationship Advice [Re: OpenHeart]
Sobernow Offline

Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 256
Loc: Oklahoma
You can't force him to do anything. But he needs help.
He sounds like me.
The more pressured he is -- the more his "symptoms" will come out.
Counseling would help.
Tell him about this site.

#340279 - 09/15/10 07:05 PM Re: New Relationship Advice [Re: OpenHeart]
EvanCan Offline

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 170
If you were my daughter, I would tell you:
(1) do not move in with him (for at least a year, at the earliest), (2) make it a pre-condition of continuing the relationship that he seek professional guidance (even if brief only) for his CSA, AND for his alcohol and smoking addictions, (3) "accepting" his "closed-off-ness" in perpetuity is only going to frustrate you to a wearisome death (4) it's not about you, (5) You don't need to "own" this, (6) All of your love in the world isn't going to "fix" him. He's got to handle that on his own, and finally (7) if he doesn't show any initiative on points 2 and 3 above within a short-period of time, you should move on.
Caution: this is not "professional" advice, just my own perspective of my own experience with CSA, my wife, and what I want for my own daughter. Others may find this too harsh.

Hope Springs 2010 WoR Alumnus
"I'm here, and I'm on the mend."

#340288 - 09/16/10 01:05 AM Re: New Relationship Advice [Re: OpenHeart]
SunnyGirl Offline

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 79
First, I'd just like to acknowledge how smart you are for coming here to learn more about CSA. You are also smart to not believe him when he tells you "I'm over it." He's not. As you already noted, you can't make him address his past, but if he doesn't it's not going to get better -- maybe it would not get worse, but it would stay exactly like it is. Ask yourself if you would be okay with knowing that as long as these issues are unresolved, he will continue to lash out at people, be distant, and abuse alcohol.

What is the rush to move in together right now? If I were you -- and I have been where you are, learning early into a relationship about the abuse -- I would not move in together right now. I think 3 months is early in any relationship to move in together, let alone if you are already seeing he has a lot of unresolved issues from his past. I know you love him and want this to work, but at times you also have to think about protecting yourself. Maybe continuing to date, but just not moving in together is a middle ground that allows you more time to assess the situation. In the interim, I would recommend reading a book on CSA, such as Victims No Longer, so you know what you are in for and understand his behaviors more. Once you have more information, you may be in a better place to make a decision about whether you think you are strong enough or want to deal with all the problems associated with dating a CSA survivor. Being involved with a CSA survivor will not leave you unchanged -- his problems will impact you and that is something you need to consider.


"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us." - H. Keller

"Change & growth take place when a person has risked himself & dares to become involved w/ experimenting w/ his own life." - H. Otto


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