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#67665 - 09/10/03 12:41 AM Why is he hostile only to me
lindts Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 26
Hi. Can someone tell me why by bf (survivor) is so hostile only towards me and no one else? My bf of 2.5 years recently told me that he was sexually abused as a child by a non-relative. That's all I know. Until he told me, our relationship was going awesome. We are so much in love and he is such a wonderful person. I am truly the luckiest girl to have him in my life. Last year when the church abuses were first publicized, he became very non-commital and said that my catholic faith was a major obstacle in our future. He said harsh things against my faith (not just about the abuse stuff). Whenever I got upset at the impasse, he'd always tell me how much he loved me and that the real issue had nothing to do with me but about him. I still thought it was about religion. We tried to resolve the religion issue but after a year of trying, I felt like I had to choose God over him and we decided that we would seperate amicably, at the top of our relationship, after the 4th of July (my favorite holiday that we were spending together). Well, of course, seperating is easier said than done when you are truly in love with someone. That is when he told me the truth about the real issue, his abuse as a child. When I found out, I felt so relieved that it was not about "us" but about something that we could survive together. I felt privileged that he chose me to confide in. Except for myself and possibly a support group he may be attending, no one else knows, not even his close-knit family. However, after he told me, he also told me that he couldn't be my bf because it wasn't fair to me. According to him, he didn't know if he'd ever be "fixed", that I deserved a ring on my finger, and that he loved me too much to hurt me the way that he was doing. We went back and forth because I totally refused to leave the relationship. As much as I love him and he loves me, we are two very good people that deserve each other. Finally, I wrote him a note saying that I am in his life for good and there was no negotiating the topic. I also gave him Luther Vandross' CD with our song "I'd Rather (have bad times with you than good times with someone else)." Luckily, I think that it hit home, because he hasn't mentioned the status of our relationship since. I've been doing alot of reading, started going to a support group for partners and seeing a therapist. We use to talk every am/pm and spend the whole weekend together (we live 65 miles apart). Since he told me, he's requested space and time apart (i.e. I shouldn't call him). I'm doing my best even though I miss him terribly and sometimes slip up by calling him to say "hi". He calls maybe 1-2 times a week and we spend a few hours together on the weekend. I know he is depressed and hurting a lot, I can see it in his face particularly when I take pictures of us. I can understand his withdrawing and moodiness and lack of attention, I just am having a hard time understanding why I seem to be the only one he is directing everything towards. Now he spends "our" time either alone, or with his family or co-workers. He seems happy and talkative around them like he is having a great time. Yet he seems pained and unhappy whenever I am around or take up his time. I feel like I annoy him and cause him unhappiness. All I want to do is be supportive. I never doubt his love for me but why is he hostile only towards me, and not his family or friends, after picking me to confide in. (When I say hostile, I don't mean it literally like abusive, I mean it more like it hurts my feelings in a sensitive sort of way). Thank you.

#67666 - 09/10/03 01:43 PM Re: Why is he hostile only to me
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

Here's what I did, and why I think I did it.

A male known to my family raped me when I was an adolescent. I didn't tell anyone until I told my wife, 26 years after it happened. By that time she had just about had enough from me.

I was a clown, joking and partying and acting the happy camper for most people. But when she got to know me (before I disclosed the abuse to her), she was too close to the part of me that could feel pain. If she accidentally bumped into some kind of "trigger" she would see me yelling, pouting, isolating, etc and not know why. She had heard some stories about the physical/emotional abuse at home when I was growing up, but she heard a very one sided depiction, from only one of my parents, and I refused to allow the designation "abuse." Now that reminds me of the sharks in "Finding Nemo" shouting, "Denial!" \:\)

Nearly losing her set me on the course to examine my past and its effects on how I relate to the people in my world today. Yecch! It's something like cleaning a hair clog from the shower drain. But I'm the only one who can clean up the stink at the source, and if I don't get it at the source it'll stink again.

The guys you mention each need to find their own way to face whatever ugliness hurt and still hurts them. That's only the start, though. Facing it is easy compared to changing it.

I don't know if anything in my experience can apply to what they're going through, but maybe it can help you understand how this male survivor looks back on my dysfunctional reactions.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#67667 - 09/10/03 02:04 PM Re: Why is he hostile only to me
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Can someone tell me why by bf (survivor) is so hostile only towards me
Your boyfriend himself probably can not tell you why he is so hostile to you. He most likely doesn't yet know, and perhaps never will.

I know that probably doesn't make you feel any better about the way things are right now, but perhaps it can let you off the hook for a little bit as far as figuring out the "why" of this thing.

Hopefully you will find some help here or elsewhere in assisting you in finding more of the ways of the "hows" of sexual abuse and its effects. "How" as in "how do we live with some dignity and serenity when the person we love the most has been sexually abused and continues to suffer from the effects of that abuse.

The reason it seems like he is the most hostile to you is that you most like are the person closest to him. Those closest to the injured party in sexual abuse (and most other victimizations) are the ones who most unhappily feel the effects.

If it might help you, try thinking of him as a man who is sick or has been seriously injured. Injured perhaps physically, but more importantly injured psychically, emotionally and spiritually.
How would you want to react to a person wo was seriously ill? How would their hostility be interpreted by you?

These are just a few of the lines of thinking that have been helpful to me as I learn to deal with the sexual abuse in my life. And also to accept and move beyond the terrible effects that sexual abuse has had on my intimate relationships.

If you are set on continuing to love and have a relationship with a man who has been sexually abused, IMHO you should seriously consider seeking some professional help for your self.

find a therapist, a support group network of like minded people to whom you can turn and begin to treat yourself as someone who has been seriously affected by sexual abuse via your boy friend.

I hope this doesn't sound too preachy. If so, pelase excuse me.

The best thing you can do for your bf and for yourself is to get some help for yourself. othewise, what do you have to bring to him and the relationship.

Much good luck to you, you will find a lot of suppoort and love in this place. And isn't it nice that we don't have to live aloe with the secets anymore?

Hope you'll caome ack

"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#67668 - 09/11/03 03:48 AM Re: Why is he hostile only to me
gryffindor Offline

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
"If you are set on continuing to love and have a relationship with a man who has been sexually abused, IMHO you should seriously consider seeking some professional help for your self.

find a therapist, a support group network of like minded people to whom you can turn and begin to treat yourself as someone who has been seriously affected by sexual abuse via your boy friend."

This advice from dwf is crucial. The affects of SA extend beyond the person who suffered the abuse to those who love him/her and in whom he/she has confided. My friend suffered SA from various people, including his mother, from the age of five until 15 or 16 (I don't really know when it stopped). He told me of it over a period of weeks and without details, from the least shocking to the most shocking. I've experienced feelings ranging from grief to numbness, anger and guilt for having sexual feelings for him. It's so out of the ordinary -- and because I know that had these things happened to me I would not have survived beyond my 2lst b'day much less gone on to become a successful professional -- that I'm sometimes at a loss as to know how to deal with it. So I don't deal with it except as a thing that happened and is no longer happening. I deal with its effects in the present but not the events that occurred in the past. But I've had to get a T to talk to about it, and I come here, because he doesn't want me to talk about it with him. (If I were him I wouldn't want to talk about it with me either.) He comes to this site too, although I don't think he posts. In a way things are better. He has all the control he needs, and I'm much less demanding. Somehow he is able to give up a little control now and then because he knows he can take it back whenever he wants, and I won't object.

I've found my relationship with a male survivor to be complicated, difficult, and for a long time impossible to understand. However, as I have gotten to know him very well, the incomprehensible has clarified, and I have found him to be a very loyal, steadfast and loving friend. I don't know how deeply he loves me, but I know how deeply I love him. Maybe it extends two ways, maybe not. I've learned not to be too concerned about it.


"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22

#67669 - 09/11/03 09:54 AM Re: Why is he hostile only to me
Leosha Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Not being in real relationships before, I am not so sure I can answer this good. I have very good friend, woman I love very much and know that I am in love with, that I finally share a little of my past with. Since I do that, we keep ourselves as friends, we argue few times, we stay as friends, she help me greatly when I am sick this week, as I have helped her before. Our relationship changed, and it didn't change. But what I think is, maybe he is hostile only at you because you are safe for him. He knows that if he needs to be angry, or jerk at someone, you are someone he trusts, and someone who maybe will understand better. I know that when Susanna and I have arguement few weeks ago, that was part of it in my mind, that at least there is someone I can feel safe to feel angry with. I do not know that I am saying this right, that is just my thought. I wish you and he luck.


Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

#67670 - 09/30/03 01:28 PM Re: Why is he hostile only to me
Spotted Giraffe Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/03
Posts: 11
I agree with all of you guys, i think Leosha has a really good point.
It could be that your BF is wearing a mask around everyone else and only feels safe to take it off with you.
Maybe he doesnt want to pretend to you anymore, which is a good thing even though it hurts.

He could also be checking to see if you will stay with him even when he is at his worst.
I remember when i stayed with foster parents last year and i did some awful things and was terribly rude and difficult to see if they would still love me. I know its imature and stuff. But sometimes you cant just take someones word, you have to see if they REALLY mean it and if they will stick with you no matter what.

Anywayz.. i dont know if that helped.
But good luck with it all.
Its great that you're talking about it.

Its not about how low you fall, its about how high you bounce

#67671 - 10/01/03 12:25 AM Re: Why is he hostile only to me
lindts Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 26
Outis, dwf, gryffindor, Leosha, and spotted Giraffe, I can't thank you enough for your comments. They have been tremendously comforting to me. Though most days are very challenging dealing with my bf, everyday I log onto this site and re-read each of your messages and it brings me strength and more importantly, it makes me feel a little bit better. Thank you so much for helping me to keep smiling.


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