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#422533 - 01/18/13 07:23 PM I suspect my boyfriend was abused, what do I do?
Clara H Offline

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 1
My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly a year. We are both in our twenties.
I know that he has been dealing with depression and various emotional issues, but he has trouble talking about it with me. When he does, it is rarely in detail and we never discuss anything he is feeling WHILE he is feeling it. I have often gotten the impression that he may be hiding something, but it is hard to tell since he is so uncomfortable talking about his depression.
Recently, he decided that he wanted to be abstinent for a while, but won't tell me his exact reasoning other than that it is for emotional, not physical, reasons. This was surprising, because we've had a consistent, wonderful sex life for about 8 months.

At first I tried to be supportive, but being confused about why we stopped having sex I pressed him about it and he admitted that it had something to do with "something that happened to him" when he was a small child.
This was NOT exactly what I expected, so I immediately became very emotional and tried to ask what he meant. We sat down and he told me that it was something that he isn't ready to talk about, and he's only every talked about it with one other person, and he'll tell me about it eventually. He said that at this time, he just cannot bring himself to explain.

The basic outline of it- he no longer wants to be sexually intimate because he wants to deal with emotional issues that stem from something that happened to him when he was a child that he cannot handle talking about- lead me to believe that there was some kind of sexual abuse.

How do I deal with this? I want to ask him about it but I'm afraid that I'll just make him feel worse. But is it really healthy for him to keep silent about it? I hardy have any experience with people who have been abused in any way so this is really difficult for me.

#422557 - 01/18/13 11:57 PM Re: I suspect my boyfriend was abused, what do I do? [Re: Clara H]
Tyler845 Offline

Registered: 11/05/10
Posts: 276
Loc: U.S.A.
From my perspective,

Him hinting about it is close enough to disclosure for him, in that he wants to know you'll support him on through. No situation before between the two of you can take precedent. If you hang around and support him, in my thought process, he will feel safe, and share with you as he is ready. This is a test from him. If you love him, hang in there, and from what you've shared, I imagine CSA is the exact issue he so carefully dances around.

Also, to even consider you for a test, for him to share just this little bit with you, in hopes that you'll support him, - Means he cares "alot" about you. smile

Best wishes-

Edited by Tyler845 (01/19/13 12:13 AM)
Edit Reason: Added some heart
Most Often, The Child Inside Has Better Access To Execute The Flawless Potential Of Self.

Over-Ride Emotional Conflict With Rational Truths

You Are Freer Than You Think - Paul Berteaux

Come unto Me, all ye that Labor, and are Heavy-ladened. I will give you Rest -Jesus Christ

#422584 - 01/19/13 03:51 AM Re: I suspect my boyfriend was abused, what do I do? [Re: Clara H]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4286
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Clara -

from what you say, and from my own perspective as a man who was abused as a kid - starting at age 5 and lasting until 13 - and fogotten/repressed/denied for years - there is no doubt in my mind that he is alluding to having survied CSA - child sex abuse.

i agree with Tyler. as male survivors - this is about the most difficult and painful and scary thing in the world to even imagine doing - reveal a terrible secret that we have devoted our entire lives to hiding - especially to someone we are close to and fear losing.

you are in a very difficult situation. if you want to stay with him through what is likely to be a rocky journey, there is a delicate balance to maintain. and the circumstances will keep changeing. it will not be easy. everything is likely to be affected.

what he needs right now is to feel reassured that you love, support, accept and trust him. that whatever dark revelations he discloses, that it will not change your love and commitment or the way you see him. i was deathly afraid of being judged, dondemned and rejected - and therefore didn't tell anyone for decades. one of the greatest things in my life has been that my wife has loved me and supported me and stuck with me through the chaos and pain and hard work of treatment and recovery.

so - IMHO - the message that needs to be communicated - is that you care about him, that you are willing to listen whenever he is ready to talk, and that you will support him through whatever positive process is ahead. i would encourage him to get qualified, experienced help from a professional therapist. that may not be something you can do immediately - but when the time is right. another big help for me - that i would encourage when possible - is for him to start participating in these MS forums.

my recovery has been a collaborative effort with the help of the guys and F&F of MS, my therapist, my wife, and faith in God.

AND - don't forget to take care of yourself. you have come to a good place - where there are others with similar experiences who can offer insights and resources and advice. but YOU may need professional support, too.

it is great that you are there for him, that you have found us, and that you are asking the right questions.

all best wishes for both of you and HEALING!
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3


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