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#234777 - 06/30/08 09:22 PM in a relationship when is it time to disclose?
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
the last couple months i have been taking dating more seriously than in the past. I am now dating a girl who i really feel close to. I don't think it is time to disclose to her we havnt been together long enough. But if the relationship continues the way it has been I really would feel comfortable disclosing to her. but i have a few questions first.

1. being sexually active dose she have a right to know? its not like i have an std or anything but should she be aware?

2. what would be a appropriate time, and way to tell her about it.

3. what sort of reaction should i suspect? I have told family and very close friends but this is different.

anyways i'm posting this here because i wanted more than just survivors perspectives. any ones thoughts would be welcome.

Thanks, Chris


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#234791 - 06/30/08 09:59 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: theatrekid]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi Christopher,

As you've read a million times here, disclosure is tricky and the one you choose to disclose to is being given a lot of power over you. Not in an "I can beat you up" kind of way, but their reaction will mean alot to you.

I want to answer your post in more detail, I just can't right now, except for #1. No, she doesn't have a "right" to know and you don't have an obligation to tell her, just because you're sexually active. As long as the two of you having sex isn't harmful to her health or wellbeing, you can take that one off the table.

ROCK ON..........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#235321 - 07/02/08 06:59 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Trish4850]
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
I'm going to give this a bump, Any input at all would really be apreciated.

Thanks


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#235340 - 07/02/08 08:24 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: theatrekid]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
I'm sorry I didn't come back to you faster Christopher - I'm glad you bumped this up.

Quote:
1. being sexually active dose she have a right to know? its not like i have an std or anything but should she be aware?

I answered this one the other night and haven't changed my mind, so I'm sticking with my original answer.

Quote:
2. what would be a appropriate time, and way to tell her about it.


I'd make it a process rather than a one time disclosure. For instance, if you have issues with unexpected touches and she notices, you can just tell her that some rough stuff happened when you were a kid and an unexpected touch makes you startle (or whatever your reaction might be). She'll likely have questions, but if you keep it a little vague, you can read her a little bit. If you're out together and see kids playing you could comment on it and include something like, I wish I felt like that at their age. Again, she'll have questions, but this is you feeling her out, so take it easy and say only as much as you're comfortable with.

It may be that she responds in a way that makes you feel good, which would be great. Your the one who has to be comfortable in giving the information. It's your feelings on the line.

Quote:
3. what sort of reaction should i suspect? I have told family and very close friends but this is different.


If her reaction is anything like mine, she'll be devastated for you. She'll be confused beyond anything she's felt before. She'll be angry and want to know who hurt you. Those are just the emotions that will run through her in a nano-second. She might cry, she might rage, she might ask a million questions.

The truth is, I have no clue what her reaction will be because I don't know her.

I wish I had a crystal ball so I could tell you exactly what will happen, but........

ROCK ON.........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#236087 - 07/05/08 03:51 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Trish4850]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
I think at some point we have a "right" to know. I think I had the right to know before I got married. I think I had the right to know before I began to think that everything that was wrong was because I was a terrible wife, lover, whatever. Of course this is coming from a woman who was with a man for 18 years before he let me in on what the heck was making things so hard for us. Clearly before that I should have known. I don't think it should have been super early on but I think the only way to have a honest open relationship you have to know things like this. Had I known before many things would have been different for us.

Having said that you must wait till you feel you can completely trust this with her and that she's the person you want to be with for a long time.

Trish is right no one can tell how she'll respond. I was so sad for my husband, I was angry for him I was crushed that someone had done that to him.

Just don't wait till her response is why didn't he tell me years ago....

just imo \:\)

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#236201 - 07/05/08 10:31 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: dangal]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
TK,


I did not tell my first wife until after we had been married for a little over fifteen years. And then, only because the marriage was failing and, I thought, it was relevant, a necessary part of the process of trying to improve communication in the marriage.

In my defense, if I need one...before that, I did not see the point of disclosure. To me, "that was then and this is now." As is so often the case, I was in my mid-thirties and a death in the family opened a door that I could no longer keep closed.

I was raised in an atmosphere where the abuse went on for nine years in my case. In my view, that can only go on when someone or, everyone, is looking the other way. We were insulated, isolated...and in isolation, so often, we do not or cannot challenge patterns of behavior. I developed skills that were absolutely necessary in my childhood to get through each day...the problem was, I think, I did not stop to consider that they were no longer necessary, and even harmful, to every relationship I had as I left home and got out into the "real" world.

I think...the most frustrating aspect of all of this is the attitude that is so often attached to it. The one of "blame." After I did disclose...every thing that happened or, had happened in my first marriage, my wife thought, was due to the abuse that I had suffered as a kid. Even though, we came together, were together, for nearly twenty years before I disclosed.

I disclosed to "inform." Not to blame. To seek out and sort out why things were the way they were. Because the relationship, I think, is the "idenified patient," not any one individual in the relationship. It is not a coincidence, that often times, partners of survivors also are survivors. If I were looking for a partner, I would most certainly look for someone that I was comfortable with, someone that I could "dance" with. Who knew and was familiar with the dance. So, often times, we attract and are attracted to individuals who share similiar issues even though they may manifest themselves differently in the relationship.

As survivors, we are placed in an impossible situation. Often times the abuse is perpetrated by a family member. In my case, my father. In order for it to go on as long as it did...it was necessary for my mother to look the other way. Our most basic needs are ignored and or minimized. We are put in a situation where, on one hand we minimize the abuse...but at the same time become hypervigilant to protect ourselves from the next occurence. The people we "need" for our very survival...are the people who are, and continue to, pervert the love we have to offer. The system sucks, but it is familiar...and often times, even though we may not actually know what "safe" is...what is familiar feels safe.

Knowing all of that and armed with that information...when I started dating again, I told the person I dated right up front, the first time we were together. In all honesty it came up as we discussed our prior relationships. That was a way in.

She was shocked and I left that night feeling, "Well, shit, I've said too much, too soon." But to my surprise, she said, no...it was hard for her to hear, and she had no idea of the implications at that stage in our relationship, but my honesty and openess, she said, left her feeling as though there would be no secrets. And, if there are no secrets, there are no lies, I think.

So...I think it is going to depend, on a lot of things. Disclosure is always a difficult thing to do. But, I would suggest...that there is a huge difference between finding a "safe" time...and finding a "comfortable" way to do it. Recovery, so often, is about stepping out from what has been comfortable, out of the isolation, into the light.


:-)


CD


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#236210 - 07/05/08 11:21 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: CDavid]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6424
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Chris,

I'm the one who stomps all over disclosure as you know.

Knowing what I know now, I would have disclosed to Lorie when we were back in grad school (dating) and not 15 years into the marriage. Back then though, disclosing CSA was full of taboos.

I'd say you dont HAVE to disclose anyting EVER. But to be "fair" to her, I would disclose if you thought marriage is in the likely future.

Another angle is this: Disclose if you want her to share in this aspect of your life. If you see it as a big part of your life and you want to "let her in" on this, go ahead. Her reaction may be positive and you'll be thrilled and probably even closer...or she'll react in a manner less than you hoped. If she reacts negatively, you have decisions to make...but at least you did not waste anyone's time.

But you know...I'm guessing that you'll know well in advance how she'll react. You'll know her heart before that pivotal time.

Quote:
what would be a appropriate time, and way to tell her about it.


The way you choose to tell her is quite variable. IMO, I think you ought to down-play the news. Don't treat it like you are giving her news that you've got cancer or something horrible. Keep it very low-key and very matter-of-fact.

But again, IMO, you have to decide what is fitting for the relationship as it actually exists. To behave in a manner other than your normal self around her would just be weird and awkward.

I hope this perspective from an oldie helps a bit. Again, just my opinions here.



Edited by Robbie Brown (07/05/08 11:28 PM)
_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#236216 - 07/05/08 11:45 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Still]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Rob,

I do not want to steal the thread, or distract from it at all...but since you mention it, it seems kind of relevant to the thread...

How do you think things would have played out differently if you had disclosed in grad school. If you care to say.

I honestly do not think I would have been able to disclose in my twenties. But I am always impressed with this generation and their willingness to be open.

If you did "downplay" the information in delivery, would that set a tone that might be confusing to the person you were telling? I guess, what I am asking is...would that be defeating the whole purpose of disclosure?


CD


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#236226 - 07/06/08 12:06 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: CDavid]
Still Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6424
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: CDavid

How do you think things would have played out differently if you had disclosed in grad school. If you care to say.


Back in Grad School, things were SO diferent. I was still in a world that scorned CSA victims as "wanting it, waiting too long to tell, why did'nt they tell, turning them gay, making them pedos, blah blah blah." There were 1,000,000 reasons to not disclose and NO visible reasons TO disclose. I KNEW I was not the only one who had a "rough childhood," so I thought the only option was to suck it up and live with what was dealt to me. I NEVER thought that it would mean hurting someone else (spouse). In fact, I thought it was flat-out responsible and strong of me to keep it supressed. I thought i was doing the right thing by not telling anyone.

So, to answer your question; I dont know how things would have played-out, but it would not be the disaster I, my wife and my kids experiencing now and will be for quite some time.

Quote:
If you did "downplay" the information in delivery, would that set a tone that might be confusing to the person you were telling? I guess, what I am asking is...would that be defeating the whole purpose of disclosure?


Maybe "downplay" is not the right word. Maybe it is better described as "properly-toned." We can speak of our CSA past as if it were nothing more than a popped bike tire 10 years ago....or we can describe it as so earth-shattering that GF is gonna be shaken by it too.

People respond and interpret things according to delivery method and message. That's why ad agencies make the big bucks. Otherwise, we could convey all compelling messages on a white paper with black ink.

I wish I could have told my wife 15 years ago (in grad school) in a way that allowed her to share in something very meaningful to me...not the way it WAS done, which was like telling her nuclear misiles were on their way to New Hampshire.

But think about it...imagine if Chris could share this very personal and scary aspect of his life with her now. WOW!



Edited by Robbie Brown (07/06/08 12:11 AM)
_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#236234 - 07/06/08 12:30 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Still]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
I remember when my kids were very small...and I think anyone with kids might find this analogy to be true for them, too. That, when they fell, got hurt, or, when someone did something hurtful to them...they wanted and needed a safe place to come, to tell, to clean the wound or soothe the hurt so that they could go back out and play.

Not someone to blame necessarily, although that is certainly part of it initially.

But, here we are, survivors...and we do minimize our experiences, Hell, we have to, had to. But, in truth...it is more like nuclear missiles being launched on New Hamshire than not. It did not "just happen" it was something that was done "to" us. The sun comes up everyday, that happens, this was something that was done to us.

I must be about your age...and I understand what you are saying about all the complicating factors involved in disclosure. will they now consider me a threat...did I ask for it...why did I wait so long to disclose?

But the truth is...and I think the "average" (I'll use the word average rather than the word, "normals") person or people do not understand is that we have been living with it, most of us, for our entire lives.

But, then...I did not appreciate then...how disclosure would change my life. I was afraid of it, terrified of it. I was sure that most people would see it as my fault. I did, I certainly expected them to see it that way, too.

Wouldn't the more appropriate response from someone that we chose to disclose to, be..."Oh, my God!!"

I don't know about anyone else...but what I need and still need now...is a safe place to tell, for someone to be supportive...so I can go back out and play.


Thanks, Rob...for your honesty.


CD


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#236255 - 07/06/08 02:13 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: CDavid]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6424
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: CDavid
Wouldn't the more appropriate response from someone that we chose to disclose to, be..."Oh, my God!!"


I suppose that might depend upon what came after "Oh my God."

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#236256 - 07/06/08 02:40 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Still]
CDavid Offline


Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 184
Good point. And, therein lies the risk. Disclosure became the reason, in a round about way, that my first marriage ended. But, oddly, not because of the fact that I disclosed, but because I chose to pursue recovery. My first wife watched from the sidelines, suggesting I was leaving her behind. I made our first appointment for couples counseling, she went a few times then decided she did not want to continue. I did continue.

When you do watch the incoming nuclear missiles, as they are approaching...you got to make a choice. I think disclosure is a growth experience that not every relationship can handle. Because it means both parties have to grow.

It was hard, very difficult. It always is when one person in the relationship takes responsibility for their life...and the other chooses not to. It has always been easier to sit on the sidelines and blame...than change.


:-)


CD


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#236263 - 07/06/08 05:56 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: CDavid]
Nyjah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 610
This is super tricky.

My first relationship that was serious was with a girl named Sheena, I never told her about anything. I got nervous sometimes when we hugged but then I knew she was safe.

My second relationship was with my house bro...we all kinda knew what happened with all of us in the house and at the home in general with the other boys. So...like, it all was already out there. But we did talk about what happened to the both of us, and it helped us in a lot of ways.


But I agree with what...Rob I think said about ifyou're going to get married to her or something like that. Then I think you should tell. But if you're not, then it's okay to keep it to yourself. I think an exception to that rule would be if she did something really inappropriate that you didn't like.


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#236283 - 07/06/08 10:35 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: CDavid]
Junefriday Offline


Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
Like Dangal, I am a wife who only found out when things started to get difficult for us and only after everything became "my fault".

I can appreciate how hard it is to disclose and how vulnerable it makes you. But, if you want to have a deep and significant relationship with someone, honesty is absolutely critical just as you expect it in return. As well, given the triggers that come and go, you never know when memories will spring up even when you think you have put the past in the past.

What hurt me most is that my H assumed that I couldn't handle it. He didn't give me the benefit of the doubt nor did he remember my strength of character, which is part of what made him fall in love with me in the first place.

My advice is to go slow but when you know the person is someone you want to share a life with, search for strength within yourself to let the person know your secrets.

_________________________
"Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.

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#236318 - 07/06/08 02:03 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: theatrekid]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Chris,
Does being sexually active with your gf give her the "right" to know about the csa? No, it doesn't. However, if anything triggers you to react negatively during sex, you may want to let her know about those things ahead of time. This doesn't mean that you actually have to disclose the csa, but rather let her know that you don't really like this or that. It could prevent a negative reaction and/or her wondering what she did to make it happen.
I don't know that there is really an appropriate time, or way to tell her. I don't know if there is really a way to downplay it, it is what it is. If you feel it's the right time, it probably will be. This is something you're sharing with her, so it will always be up to you.
As far as her reaction...she'll have alot of questions, some of which you might feel like answering, and some you won't. For us, he disclosed, and then imagined a reaction I was not having. Then, he pulled away for awhile. I felt like he'd handed me a cinder block and said, "Here, hold this for me." I wondered what the point was for telling me if he was going to shut me out. It was difficult at first, but things got much better between us after that. There were alot of things that triggered him every day that I thought were me. They weren't.
Always,
Liv


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#236373 - 07/06/08 05:29 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Liv2124]
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
Everybody thank you for the replies. I will use every thing every one has said while i consider disclosing, which will still be a while away for me but i want to be prepared. \:\)

Chris


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#236402 - 07/06/08 06:46 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: theatrekid]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6424
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
I hope you studied all of this material above. There will be an essay and multiple-choice exam tonight.

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#236413 - 07/06/08 07:16 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Still]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Cute, Rob
Wanna freak the kid out?


Chris,
Just say what you need to say...

Liv



Edited by Liv2124 (07/06/08 07:55 PM)

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#236439 - 07/06/08 09:54 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Liv2124]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 860
Loc: washington
I basically posted, this same question,about a week ago. Nobody answered in, I believe a 24hr. period,so I pulled it off. I believe I did so, because even though we are hopefully going the same direction,in certain ways are paths are unique. Let me explain,some had it better, and (i'm sure a whole lot of people had it worse).I'M not trying to minimize my abuse, but perhaps shed some light on it.

My abuser was a jekle and hyde type,often times very loving,except when he abused me ,only when he was abusing me, was he ever rough.Regardless, it still screwed me up emotionally,I had feelings for my abuser,even though some of the harder stuff was clearly only for his enjoyment. my abuse somehow continued through other people i.e my brother,even though the events weren't connected.(my boundaries were shattered).

We all and deal and process our abuse different ways,my case was made crystal clear when I read SPEAKING OUR TRUTH by NEAL KING,who was abused and (I believe)by no mistake chose his major,because of the fact.Paraphrasing for content,He both hated and but also loved his big brother ...he had taken the torture and eroticized it.That was such an astounding,bring it into the illumination room moment for me.

So why did I bring this all up? Because, my abuse has changed me sexually.If I am to find the right person: I have to be honest,open and willing, and that means I CANNOT deny who I am\or who I have become. MY answer is clearly before we have sex.

I don't know if I raised more questions than answers,but I believe I have STRESSED, it is a complicated issue.

friends for life,

1islandboy

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#236482 - 07/07/08 03:48 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: 1islandboy]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 860
Loc: washington
O.K. I want to double down on this one,

First I would like to say , I was married to a person,so sick that she doesn't even know she is sick. I disclosed to her,some years back(during a mental breakdown), all that ever came of it was,she blamed my parents for not protecting me. I really couldn't change her mind,but now that I'm healthier, it's like, what the phuck do you know. It's not like you were there, and if anyone should have the power to blame, it's me.

For anyone whose read my enough of my posts to figure out,the other day I got a deep tissue massage,that allowed all of these feelings to surface about disclosure,knows that I went totally psyco for about two days.

Now that I'm through that, disclosing might be as simple as leaving my recovery books on my bookshelf. And NO,I absolutely refuse to hide my books. I don't own the shame,my abuser does.When we talk I will let her know,I am not dammaged goods. If she has children she will learn I am now a PROTECTOR.There is no doubt for me now that I will ever re-offend.No one deserves to go through,what we have had to endure.

Now that I am sober,I don't stuff my feelings anymore. I can see it now,"Hey mom,I found a humble guy that actually knows how to listen,sometimes he even responds". (what a concept).

I think the rest is in the action steps (i.e.snuggletime), and if she doesn't want snuggle,the sign is on the wall, "she is not your soulmate". End it now.
How many HEALTHY GIRLS, don't want to snuggle,and get in touch with their feminine side anyway? (come-on).

as for reavealing my true sexual self,still cluless on that one.

live in the solution,

1islandboy

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#236545 - 07/07/08 02:49 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: 1islandboy]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Hmmm, when to disclose. That's a tough one,with probably no right or wrong answer. Only you Chris, can answer that for yourself.

However, here's my opinion. If you were to ask this question to my H, he is definitely more with Robbie Brown on this, that disclosing was a mistake. Being the spouse, I would have liked to have known before we were married. We were married 5 years before he told. It hurt that he felt he couldn't trust me with it, but it explained alot of his behavior, and I STAYED BECAUSE HE DID TELL ME. Like alot of the other spouses here, I was the scapegoat for everything that was wrong in the world, so I had one foot out the door by the time he told.

I think you will know if and when disclosing is the right thing to do. If you are in a special relationship with someone, and she is the right person, telling her WILL NOT change her feelings for you, at all. I think alot of you forget that even though this was a horrible thing that was done to you, it also helped shape who you are now,and she loves who you are.

Lastly, you are here and you are working on your recovery, so when you are ready to share this with someone special,hopefully you will be far enough along to let her in completely, let your guard down, show your vulnerability and trust her love for you. That's all I want from my H.

Warmly, NYDAISY


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#236675 - 07/07/08 10:51 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Still]
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
Originally Posted By: Robbie Brown
I hope you studied all of this material above. There will be an essay and multiple-choice exam tonight.


Originally Posted By: Liv2124
Cute, Rob
Wanna freak the kid out?


Chris,
Just say what you need to say...

Liv


Actually i test really well. I learned that i could get by in school if i just did well on the tests, its not a way to get fantastic grades but enough to pass. I don't think i did a single assignment in my econ class, just the tests. i got a C but the teacher and i were both Bob Dylan fans so he bumped it up to a B \:\)


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#236679 - 07/07/08 10:57 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: theatrekid]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6424
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: theatrekid
i got a C but the teacher and i were both Bob Dylan fans so he bumped it up to a B \:\)


Hey....you'll find even MORE hippie-type teachers in college. Yer gonna rock!

Just never forget the line that kills: "Do you know who I am?"

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#236898 - 07/08/08 11:49 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: theatrekid]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Chris,
Always been a great test taker myself. Knowing this about you, I'd say you have the same internal compass I have, that will direct you correctly with regard to emotional issues. (However, actual DIRECTIONS, I need mapquest, because I have NO external sense of direction. I'd need mapquest to find my way out of a paper bag!) EVERY gift, comes at a cost.
Liv


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#236923 - 07/09/08 05:40 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Liv2124]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
I yearn for the day when disclosure will not be so painful and traumatic - that is, csa will never cease being a horrific event(s) - but I look forward to when society can accept and deal with it in a more respectful and honest manner.

I recall some years ago when people were diagnosed with cancer it was SO scandalous! some people even thought it was contagious - can you imagine? people would be fired from their jobs, ostracized from their friends, was unbelievable.

back to the OP - I certainly wish I'd known about my bf for 2 main reasons - one, I shared so much of my past w/him and felt betrayed he didn't share about himself and two - if I'd known ahead of time I'd never have confronted him the way I did when I realized that was what was going on with him. It would have made a big difference, I think.

so if she's going to be a significant part of your life, yes, you need to tell. doesn't necessarily mean marriage, but just closer than a casual acquaintance.

good luck whatever you do let us know how it goes.

Indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#237191 - 07/10/08 04:47 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: indygal]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
I felt the same way when I had found out. Hurt he had not trusted me. I had been abused as a child, phyically, emotionally, mentally, terrible stuff, I have many scars both inside and out. I told my husband everything and I am not embarrassed about it, if anyone asks I would tell them. I know physical child abuse is certainly looked at differently by people, however, as his wife, his lover, his everything I would have hoped he could have been able to, especially knowing my past and that if anyone could understand a wee bit about being tramatized, broken and brusied it would be someone like me.

There are things that are similar with the 2 situations. Scared to tell people the truth, hiding all the time, pretending life is wonderful, living in terror....and when I did tell, I was not helped and I was left there and it got worse.

Maybe it's why I took it so well as Rob has pointed out. I get it to some degree. I love him no matter what. I just wish I had known sooner, our marriage would have had less pain if I had.

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#237287 - 07/10/08 04:52 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: dangal]
Junefriday Offline


Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
I was talking to someone yesterday regarding the impact my H's CSA has been having on our marriage. We started having problems in January and I learned about the CSA in June. During that time, my H took every opportunity to put the blame of EVERYTHING on me. The person I was talking to asked what I thought the problem was in the 5-6 months before I learned about the CSA. My response was that I thought the problem was ME.

For those months, I blamed myself for everything. I walked on egg-shells around him paranoid about making the smallest of mistakes. I rushed around like crazy to make sure that everything was always perfect (ie. the food he liked in the fridge, the bed not being tucked in at the bottom, the curtains drawn if it was expected to be a warm day, etc.). He was not violent nor was he particularly mean but yet I lived in fear of disappointing him. Even when I didn't make mistakes, nothing I did made him happy.

It was a huge relief when I found out about the CSA. It was only then that I learned that it wasn't MY fault. He is in denial, but I am not.

I can only imagine how hard it must be to disclose. But, if you care about her, at least try to find a way.

_________________________
"Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.

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#237799 - 07/13/08 01:30 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: Junefriday]
heismyworld Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 25
I've read and believe disclosure has to come when you are ready. As a wife of a survivor, I also believe it is important to disclose early.

My wish would be when a couple gets the feeling of wanting to be together/be engaged/marry and starts to share their past, disclosure could be a part of the story. That sounds easy, and I know it is not.

My point is that the abuse is a piece of the survivor's life and to be honest about all the pieces to me is important. I think early disclosure is good so hopefully healing can either begin or continue, and the survivor can be on the journey to healing. And the survivor's partner can become educated themselves and help the survivor heal.

If acting out is going on--sexually or personality changes, etc., I believe disclosure is a must. A chance for healing can begin and acting out can stop. A survivor feeling their partner might leave them if they found out must be horrible, but the time that can build up in waiting can be horrible too when the partner finds out. Trust can be questioned; many things can be questioned about the life already shared together perhaps. Many answers can be found too, and explanations can be given.

The survivor was a victim--and when the partner finds out they can become one too for what it has done to the survivor, the relationship between the survivor and partner, and perhaps then what it could do to the partner.

Abuse is tragic. Our prayer is not one more person experience a bit of it.

Pray for guidance, peace and clarity in your journey. I pray for you.

Take care, and God Bless--


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#238566 - 07/16/08 08:26 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: 1islandboy]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
1islandboy,
Snuggling is our feminine side? \:\)
Liv


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#238578 - 07/16/08 09:05 PM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: CDavid]
thecoopstah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 589
Loc: massachusetts
"When do YOU disclose"

That is a huge yet critically important question however i think you will get a vareity of opinions and suggestions( trish and dangal have real imorptant points yet ultimately it's up to YOU)

but only when you're ready and when the situation presents itself ( and trust me it will ) you will know in your heart the time to disclose such personal information and only then will it happen ...in your time........no one elses.

I cannot ,nor will i try to speak for anyone but myself but i have ALWAYS believed that "being true to yourself" means just that....in every single aspect of your life( my belief(s) that is) however i don't want to get sidetracked afterall this is your post but i know when i told my fiancee when we first started datring early on i was sexually abused and the way i veiwed it ......" if she accpets it she accepts it ,if she doesn't then she doesn't " that was my gut feeling.

She took what i said and handled it far better then i could have ever imagined possible because i was honest and she told me later on as we became close " i admire you for your honesty that took alot of trust on your part to share that part of you with me"

I'll never forget those words.....i felt alot of emotions


anger

fear

sadness( for my inner child)

rage
exploited but most of all i felt validated which something i never felt in a longggg time.

I will say that when you're ready to share that part of you with her i can promise you one thing........you will feel so much better because if it were me and i was her and you shared your past with me i'd be honored in that you allowed yourself to go to that place that i am sure still scares you.

Sorry for the long reply but as i am sure you know already this " abuse " is very provocative and has many faces.

Go easy on yourself when you decide yet i agree totaly that "feeling her out" and see what she says and how she re-acts because you're never going to know until you muster the courage to be the man you have always been.

I wish you the best in any decision you chose and/or disclose.....it's scarey of course...but in the end you'll heal that much more therefore having said that...........be gentle with you and you'd be amazed at the growth.........


Coopstah

_________________________
" You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have "

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#238616 - 07/17/08 02:20 AM Re: in a relationship when is it time to disclose? [Re: thecoopstah]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
well said Coop, well said

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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