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#35143 - 01/14/03 03:45 PM How much do you tell?
al Offline

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 143
Loc: canada
How much do you tell your mate about the abuse you have suffered? On a scale of 0 to 100%, about how much do you tell him/her? How comfortable are you in the telling? Do you ever regret having said what you have?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.


Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music. Mark Kleiman

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. Winston Churchill

#35144 - 01/14/03 04:40 PM Re: How much do you tell?
zadok1 Offline

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
i am anxious to see what everyone thinks. with my wife, she didnt think the details were important. she left it up to me, and i sometimes regret that i havent shared more with her. she knows that i was sexually complusive, and that i had issues with abuse. she said that the actual acts werent all that important, and that she didnt care if i wanted to keep them to myself. i regret leaving it so vague, because i feel like there are still secretes between us. i guess i need to tell her more, but i hate burdening her further. this all gets very confusing sometimes.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

#35145 - 01/14/03 05:48 PM Re: How much do you tell?
andrew-almost52 Offline

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Hi Al, good question. I think it depends on the mate and your relationship with her/him. Some people will be able to handle the whole truth, details and all. Others are best left with only the barest of essential details. It will also depend on the survivor's comfort zone. How comfortable are you with tell the details? Will being explicit help your recovery? I'm not sure there is any one answer to this question Al. Maybe going with what feels right is the best answer. Peace, Andrew

#35146 - 01/14/03 07:56 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Muldoon Offline

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Al We are all different because our SA was so different. I went along for 20 years with never telling my wife a thing about my SA. That silence almost end my marrage because 10 years ago I was having a major melt down over SA issues and was tring to fix it myself.
My wife hated the person I was and just wanted OUT< OUT < OUT. I was able to burry the SA issue but I never realy did deal with it. Wife and I stayed together for the last 10 years but when the BOSTON stuff started to come out last Jan. it was time to tell.
Al I came to this web site for 4 months before I got the nerve to tell my wife. I told her all the details about the one day Father Ryan abused and tortured me because it anserwed so many ?? about me Like why we couldn,'t have kids and why my right testicle was that of a 11 year old boy. It took me 3 months of work with my T before I was able to tell her about Perp # 2 and then I only gave her the basic details . I still have issues with perp 2 that only my T knows about.
Al I feel that talking about your inner emontion as you go through healing is very imporant. It lets your mate know whats going on within. My mate and I talk every week about my T and how things went. Sometimes the wife will bring things up that she thinks i should talk about at T. Tell your mate just what is imporant and the rest will come out over time. Best of luck on your road to HEALING. Muldoon

Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

#35147 - 01/14/03 08:09 PM Re: How much do you tell?
hdan Offline

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Texas
I agree with Muldoon that each of our situations is different and therefor must be handled differently. But I believe that if one is in a committed relationship with a partner that he/she will have to eventually share some aspects of the abuse in order to heal completely. That partner is part of our emotional life, and in many ways our emotional stability, and the abuse affects the relationship whether we know it or not (as described in the posts above). Be thoughtful of your partner when you choose to tell him/her. Be sensitive about the level of details and take as much time as you need. It may seem painful in the short run but will be well worth it in the long run.

In my case, I was unaware of my abuse until just 4 months ago. The first time I really touched on the abuse with my T I freaked. I acted out sexually but did not initially tell my partner. I decided that I wanted to tell my partner. It was hard, and I deeply hurt my partner. It wasn't until a month later that I began to remember my abuse that provided some understanding for my acting out. I shared this information about my abuse with my partner, and we even began couples sessions to help deal with it and my acting out.

Talking about hard, it was horrible at first telling my partner about the acting out and the abuse. But my parnter understood, and over time, has been able to provide much needed support.

We're all different, but I think the intimacy with our partners will eventually lead us to sharing our abuse with them.


#35148 - 01/14/03 08:23 PM Re: How much do you tell?
RJD Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
How much do I need to tell my wife? I need to tell enough so that I don’t still hide proof of how unloveable I am. I think I need to consider how much she can handle at a particular moment in time. I need to consider how much I can handle at aparticular moment in time. I told my wife in a therapists office at his urging, after several attempts at suicide. It was in the days before managed care and I spent 2 months in a hospital psych unit. I remember “ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST” came out at that time. One of the characters committed or attempted suicide over his issues with some at least covert incest with his mother. My wife wasn’t getting it. Rape could only happened to women. The mask of normalcy like I had no problems was too much for me to maintain. We were three years into the marriage and we had one daughter, another daughter was now coming. Real intimacy was still very stunted. She was impatient with the years of therapy, and basically wondered when I was going to get over this “thing.” I could feel her tapping her foot and impatiently looking at her watch. It was a very rough time. I ended therapy after seven years. Did two more years in a group with all women survivors. During this time the topic was on the table for women and the devastation was talked about. She was more patient by this time. Several years later the movie,THE BOYS OF ST VINCENT was available on video. As she watched it the tears began to roll off her cheeks. She finally got it. After this point was when I let her read pieces of my journaling. What I would write would oftened frightened and confused her. Because of this I was more apt to only share details with men from my support groups.Thirty three years after our marriage she is still in my corner for the most part. Though she recently told me she could not deal with me expressing my anger toward women in my art work. I guess she means like what dekooning did in his work. I guess the little girl in her is still afraid of men. I don’t know. I resent her limiting what I might say in my artwork. If the dekooning in me came out I guess she would have to deal with it. The struggle is ongoing as you can see.

In this day and age I would urge disclosure before marriage. It offers both a chance to decide wether the relationship is real. The effects of the devastation on intimacy are just too profound to pretend otherwise. Could I do it today if were just now meeting my wife? I do not know. I do know it is really the only way to do it right.

My wife knew who was involved in my family when I told her in the therapists office. She really did not want to know any more. As the identified patient I was the dysfunctional ineffectual male that she had come to expect from men. Her father is an alchoholic. I could hardly function for several years. We were repeating her parents relationship pattern in many ways. I can see here that I ‘m slipping into another story.

#35149 - 01/14/03 09:49 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Al, as I have remembered different incidences of abuse, who did them & when, I share those with my wife, along with very generally what kind of abuse it was--incest, rape, whatever it was. But no details, and she doesn't ask for or want any.

My wife just wants to know who did "it" & when.
That way she knows the relationships & timing involved, how this shaped me, how it affects things now. Details aren't likely to add anything good or helpful to that.

It's gotten less difficult each time I've had to share another memory. Now hopefully there are no more incidents or details that need sharing. So far I've said nothing I've wished I'd kept to myself, and shared what it seemed we were both ready for at the time--as much as that is possible, of course. We've done a lot of crying together, we've also gotten closer together.

As many have said, what & how much can be shared when depends on the survivor, the SO, and their relationship, as well as the circumstances of the abuse. Whether any of the perps or family members are still around can make a difference to.

Lots of factors. This matter is probably about as individual as we are. But we can learn from each others experiences, and that's good.

Wishing you well, Alan, as you share what you both need at the right time in the way that's best for you. Take care.


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#35150 - 01/15/03 12:54 AM Re: How much do you tell?
Wifey1 Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
as a wifey and a survivor, for my own point of view the more and more hubby2 shares with me the more I understand. We both shared early in our marriage about being sex abuse survivors, but i was aggressive in seeking T at the time -- I support hubby2 in how ever how much he chooses to share at the time. Only cuz I know its about him for him at the time.
sometimes we trigger the shit out of each other -- but then again we have each other to hold and hug so safely when we need it the most --
I feel very blessed by having his understanding and hope that he feels the deep love I have for him and his little self when he needs me the most.
I can only reiterate the sentiments of others, everyone is a little different, and can only handle what they can handle --
Even tho hubby2 has heard my stories repeatedly and I have heard some of his repeatedly I dont think I will ever mind listening -- if he feels the need to tell again, then I will listen again -- he has done the same for me. I feel like it brings us closer...
but then again we may change again tommorrow we keep that right for ourselves -- shit there is stuff I haveent told this therapist, and may never.. its about giving myself and my hubby2 permission to keep and deal on the level we need at the time.
BTW -- a GREAT question! and have asked myself and hubby2 this in the past before ...
Best of Peace ~ Wifey1

#35151 - 01/15/03 01:22 AM Re: How much do you tell?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
There is so little my wife does not know, just a few details - mainly the actual sexual content. And that's something I've done to spare her, although I've told her so much she can fill in the blanks I'm sure.
Although she does know that my acting out was giving strangers BJ's - that was a hard discussion for sure!

I kept silent for over 30 years, then told her slowly what I was experiencing at the time, and the detail that went with it to a degree.
As time went on and trust was gained I told more and more.
I've told her my fantasies in detail, my past in most of the detail.
There is no one episode that I have hidden though, and that's important to me.

She's dealt with it all, never questioned my past behaviours and only ever encouraged me to change my new ones.

It was as slow as the process of rebuilding our trust, the two were linked totally.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#35152 - 01/15/03 01:40 AM Re: How much do you tell?
Wifey1 Offline

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
hope you dont mind me butting in again here, but i just remembered something i shared with my GF yesterday -- when hubby2 came clean about the sex addiction stuff, the more he has shared with me the less my mind has gone off into those horrible toilet bowl spins of "I wonder"... i always had that sneaking feeling he wasnt telling all of the truth about something (we battled porn argument a long time) after he shared details of stuff -- it calmed ME down. I began to trust him again.
We are still real new at this * Sunday he just got his 60 day chip for sobriety YEHAW HUBBY2! * but when I realized I was actually getting answers no matter how awful the info was, it (the info) was never as bad as what my wild imaagination was doing all on its own.
the info shared gave me something "tangible" to deal with rather than intangible....
Peaceable Hugs ~ Wifey1

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