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Telling your significant other about abuse
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Telling your significant other about abuse

I was sexually abused as a child as well as emotionally abused.

When should you share this with your partner? Before sex? Before marriage? What if you want to keep it private, is it unethical to keep it to yourself?
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957549_tn?1273725633

Well, i was raped..and i know it's not the same, but i waited till i built up an emotional connection with my bf and then i told him...this was before sex and we arent married yet...

anyways hope this helps.

allie
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977388_tn?1248732705
Well, I was sexually abused and physically too. Unfortunately my boyfriend (now hubby) and his mom was witness to my dad going completely berserk. It was horrible, but I knew he'd find out sooner or later. He took it better than I thought he would.

It wasn't until much later that I told him about the sex part. But I did tell him before we were married. I had to tell him because we had sex and I would cry ever single time and it worried him. After I told him it seemed to make things better.

I'm glad he found all this out BEFORE marriage because it just felt so much better. I felt like he needed to know everything about me before we became one.

My advice, tell him when you feel it's best
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Avatar_f_tn
I was molested as a child and everytime my boyfriend would start to fondle my breasts or anything and it started to feel really good, I would back off and he would think I was rejecting him.  I didn't know this would happen. Finally when I told him, he understood and it slowly started to go away.  Once in a while I still feel that way though.  So I would tell him as soon as you are emotionally close, and before sex because you never know how he could make you feel, and how your body and emotions will react.
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Avatar_f_tn
It depends on whether you have really put this behind you, and can go on with your life in a normal fashion and not look back it is your decision but remember it was not your fault, so do not think that it is  luck  jo
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Avatar_m_tn
I believe it depends on how supportive you think your partner is. If you think your partner would be supportive, maybe it would be a good idea to share this information because it could be very supportive for you. Perhaps talking this over with someone who knows and planning how you will deal with potential emotions which may arise as you tell your partner will help. If no-one knows, you can discuss with with anyone you do trust and aren't afraid to tell (perhaps a counselor or therapist).

I also see that Boogie8481 brought up a good point and I am not sure if you ever feel the same way when your with your partner but if this is a relationship you are serious about it may be fair to inform your partner.

I don't think there would be any legal reason why you would need to report this to your partner if you chose not to, although I go on record saying if your serious about the relatioship it may be best to inform your partner. As far as ethics..... I would think that anyone has the right to share something so serious about their life without there being an ethical or more accurately, moral problem. On the other hand, if you chose to tell and your partner was not supportive or makes you feel ashamed or anything else, maybe you would decide this partner doesn't share your same values/ethics/morals.

I do know you have nothing to be ashamed about, it wasn't your fault, you were only a child. Your partner should be able to understand this if your partner really cares for you. Good luck and God Bless You.
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Avatar_f_tn
There is some very sound advice here. It's true that you could regret it if he turns out not to be kind, caring and supportive. On the other hand, I would give anything to go back and know in advance how cruel my first husband could be before it was too late.

I wish I'd lived with him first because he couldn't have hidden his cruel, sadistic side for too long. Instead, I married him shortly after meeting him (INSANE idea, by the way), and got pregnant shortly after this (sealed the deal and kept me there for 16 years).

Abuse victims (I was one too) can at times be too desperate to be loved, and fall easy prey to those who want to victimize a woman. Often these guys are the ones who pour it on thick, jumping through hoops to impress you quickly, and get a commitment out of you.

Well, back to the topic-telling him may give you some insight into his character while you're (wisely) making an assessment as to whether he is a match for  you.  Matching morality and empathy are among the top most important compatibility issues.

Please remember that 1 in 4 girls report being abused (probably more don't speak up)-so you're far from being alone.   Also, please tell your friends that men who are abusive (verbally or physically) are a significantly greater risk for sexually abusing their children (6.5 times higher rate according to Lundy Bancroft).

Good Luck & God Bless

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Avatar_f_tn
I never told anybody about the abuse I experienced in my home.  It was sexual, physical, emotional, psychological.  From babyhood to adulthood, and even some sexual and mental abuse during my early adult years.  Even my father abandoned me.  I meant nothing to him.  He was ashamed of me.  My mother neglected me, and chose not to protect me all those years.  My brothers had personality disorders she refused to acknowledge or protect me from.
I locked all of my life into a closet, and threw away the key.  I continued to live in a state of  secretiveness for many years.  I knew I was dirt, worthless, a bad person, violated, did not deserve life.  I was nothing.  I did not love myself, or feel God could love such a worthless piece of nothing I was.
Not knowing it, it caused me to make many bad decisions for myself.  I simply did not know better.  And I trusted nobody.  For me, life was not a safe place.  I didn't know anything about  getting love.  I felt I was just an object that took up space.
The only man I married had no clue what my life had been and I had no intention to ever let that closet door open for as long as I lived.  I existed in life as a shell.  The real me was buried away somewhere, untouchable, ashamed, scared, worthless, unloved, and secrets.
Something happened then that threw all of that secret life back into my face again.  Still remaining secret, I took that person to a psychiatrist.  During this time I was starting to lose it.  I wanted to run away to someplace safe, but that was not an option for me.  That closet door started to buldge and then it sprang open, right off the hinges.
Knowing I was going to be bannished from the life I had, and my new family, I bit the bullet and told my husband only a piece of my secret.  I fully expected to be beaten to an inch of my life and driven from the home right then and there.  That my husband would be totally ashamed of me, hate me, and want me out of his life.
He just stood there in shock.  Then he wanted to get on the phone and verbally let my brothers have it.  But I was still protecting that family and its sick secrets.  I wouldn't let him.  Had they lived close by I think he would have murdered them.
The intense reaction to that locked door flying open put me into the hospital.  I became totally disoriented and every single cell in my body had exploded and become detached from the others. I was totally fragmented, my cortisol level was totally off the charts,  I didn't know even my name, where I was, the date, the year, the town, I knew nothing.
Over 25 years later, and doing far better, I am still suffering from my childhood memories.  My parents are dead, my brothers I have divorced myself from, and I don't love or hate them.  I just fee
l nothing.  My husband knows only what I have told him.  My doctors know only what I have told them.  I have a relationship with my God, but I do not yet feel that love and connection that I always hear others speak about.  That part has been ripped from me, forever.
I would never tell anybody what to do about their secrets of abuse.  That is an individual choice because each person was affected differently  by that abuse.  But I know no person ever deserves to be abused.  They didn't cause it, or was it ever their fault.  They just happened to be around sick people, filled with hate, filled with mental problems of their own, and had nobody on their side to help them.  I think I would have been better off raised in an orphanage.  Or just left behind to fend for myself, or just to die.
Even today, when I am verbally attacked by another, usually a male, my feelings become totally disengaged.  I feel nothing.  IIt is my survival mode.  I still have trust problems.  The world is still not a safe place.  And I have reason today to know the world is not a safe place.  It never was and it never will be.  Some people can never be told about my abuse.  They can't deal with even the most minor information.
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1019795_tn?1251434158
I would tell your significant other shortly after you meet him, just so he knows that dark part of your past.
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