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#353181 - 02/09/11 03:03 PM Any thoughts?
worldscentre Offline

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
My bf told me about his abuse early in our relationship and I have been as supportive as I can be. As we got nearer to the point of settling down and thinking about our future his issues with abuse grew stronger (it seems this has been a pattern in the past). He began therapy and has had to go to 'dark places' as he describes it. He now says he must deal with this alone before he can move forward, he does not want to use me as a crutch.
I suppose I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone? I've read alot of posts about partners supporting each other and how they couldn't have made it through without them, so I'm just wondering if it has. I worry about him daily and the things he has to face and just want to help as best I can. And if I'm honest I worry about me too and being left behind.

#353190 - 02/09/11 06:13 PM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: worldscentre]
Awake at Last Offline

Registered: 12/12/10
Posts: 77
Loc: Chicago Land
The fact that he got more upset about abuse issues as the relationship got more serious is something I can identify with. It doesn't mean he is backing off. It means that he has serious issues with intimacy and that thinking about settling down and making commitments brings it on. If he has begun therapy that is good. Going to the dark places means he is starting to deal with memories and feelings that he has pushed away for a long time, but he now needs to go there in order to make progress.

I can understand that you feel shut out and that you want to be supportive and that his apparent withdrawal is troubling. But your support may now feel like pressure. He has to deal with this at his own pace. If he continues with therapy and exploring his issues he is on a path. I would recommend giving him space an time, for now. He will turn to you for support when he wants and needs it. So I would try to be patient. But stay in touch here. You can get some support and insight in the meantime.

Hope this helps a bit.

#353243 - 02/10/11 02:28 AM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: Awake at Last]
hopeandtry Offline

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 476
From personal experience, the more space you give him, generally the better. Honestly, the fact that he is doing any kind of therapy is HUGE. That is very brave of him and he obviously wants to learn to stand on his own two feet. Give him time to do that. It is very wise of him to work through that as much as possible before getting in a relationship. Be there to talk when he wants to (about casual things or the more serious issues). Take care of yourself in the meantime and use this time to learn more about yourself. We are here to support each other so please reach out as you feel necessary. MS is a lifesaver, as I've said many times before. :-)


#353257 - 02/10/11 08:19 AM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: hopeandtry]
worldscentre Offline

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Thank you very much for your comments and advice. I have friends looking at the situation and just see the backing off part, not the issues that led to it and they dont understand and obviously I will not tell them, so its good to be able to discuss with people who understand.
He has gone to therapy before but it was very sporadic and this time he is seeing the therapist regularly so I suppose that is why issues are being brought to the surface that may not have been realised before. Some of the issues are very scarey for me so I can only imagine how they feel for him. But you are right I have to respect his wishes and needs and step back.

#353260 - 02/10/11 10:31 AM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: worldscentre]
head&heart Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 17
Loc: Chose the hard place--left the...
I have not posted on this board in a long time, although I read daily. I have read many, many posts from partners that describe the painful distancing so common in relationships with survivors. I have 27 years of experience as the partner of a survivor and I have to admit that the consistent message has always been the same ... Back Off! This has been true under all circumstances, at all stages of life, whether he is pursuing healing or running in the other direction. For a partner this behavior can be very hurtful and isolating. Give him time to heal, just as the above posts have suggested, but remember that the "come here...go away" relationship cannot go on forever or it will become entrenched. Love is a two way street. Continue to love but with the just expectation that you will be loved in return.
While you wait for your love to be returned, read and learn from this site and all its contributors. Just remember that a lifetime of waiting will do neither of you any good.
Hang in there.

#353266 - 02/10/11 01:17 PM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: head&heart]
worldscentre Offline

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Thanks for your post. I dont want to turn this into something all about me, but I have to realise I'm just as important in the relationship as him.
I get so angry at what happened and how someone could do that to him, and I feel helpless. So I am keeping my distance but as I said I worry about him every day. I'll keep checking in here as its a great support.

#353268 - 02/10/11 01:54 PM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: worldscentre]
SunnyGirl Offline

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 79
In addition to coming here, I would suggest two other things: (1) buy some books about sexual abuse ("Victims No Longer", "Beyond Betrayal" and "Allies in Healing" were helpful to me) -- learning as much as you can can help provide you comfort and make you feel less alone; and (2) consider seeing a therapist regularly for yourself. I did not do this right away and having the feelings you have starts to get too difficult to bear alone. Your bf's abuse doesn't just impact him. It impacts you, too, causing you to become a secondary victim. You cannot tell your friends about the abuse so you find yourself saying half truths to explain what is happening and why. Suddenly you have a secret like your bf does. It can be overwhelming to deal with and figure out how to cope. You need a safe person to talk to about these things. While I find MS to be very helpful, it has been through the help of a therapist specifically trained in trauma and abuse that I have made the most progress. Having someone to talk to open and honestly makes a huge difference. I don't feel nearly as alone and misunderstood.


"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

#353307 - 02/10/11 07:43 PM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: SunnyGirl]
worldscentre Offline

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Therapy is something I will look into, again thanks for the advice.

#353308 - 02/10/11 07:46 PM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: worldscentre]
worldscentre Offline

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
I used to feel guilty for getting angry with him, knowing it's not his fault but having no-one else to turn to. So maybe learning and understanding as much as I can will benefit me and him.

#353447 - 02/12/11 07:54 AM Re: Any thoughts? [Re: worldscentre]
Friend2help Offline

Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 39
>>>>>>>You cannot tell your friends about the abuse so you find yourself saying half truths to explain what is happening and why. Suddenly you have a secret like your bf does. It can be overwhelming to deal with and figure out how to cope>>>>

Man..can I relate to this!! My guy friend and I are having a major "need to back off" time. Neither one of us wants to let go...but we are saying hostile things. Even though he said he needed us to JUST BE FRIENDS and I was just fine with it..I KNOW there were feelings on both of our parts...he has said MANY things implying so....he has shut done and says he is "fucked up". He says my friends must think he is a jerk and an asshole....I , of course won't tell them anything about the CSA....but he is going thru a tough I blame it on that...which IS A LARGE part of it..but I KNOW it all stems from CSA.....and I know he is in a LOT of pain, but he won't let me in to help...because he says..I just want to rescue him and make it better. WELL YEAH..I do.....he has had extensive therapy..for the CSA..but not for the divorce..which he's tearing us apart and I read here about BACKING off..and I know that is what I must do and HAVE done....I just wonder when and IF he'll come around. AHHH this is a tough road, full of such sadness.

I agree the books mentioned are helpful..I read 2 of them and have read a lot here...which has helped!

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