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#282906 - 04/09/09 11:16 AM living a lie.....
vernonq Offline


Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 2
In a nutshell I was sexually molested/devirginized by an older woman whos house I used to stay at when I was 11-12 years old. I've never told anyone--maybe out of shame or fear of that they might view me as damaged goods somehow.

I have come a long way since then and now have a girlfriend of 10 years whom I love and she has been my only real sexual partner. Problem is lately I feel feelings of betrayal for the fact that I haven't told her; She is the woman I want to marry someday(the fact that I havent been able to after 10 years might be a problem as well) and feel the need to disclose the truth about this, but have no idea how to go about it. Will I be viewed as damaged goods? a liar? I guess either way the overwhelming desire to finally tell her might outweigh these fears that I have....any advice or support would be great.


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#282936 - 04/09/09 02:45 PM Re: living a lie..... [Re: vernonq]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
vernonq,

First let me welcome you to MS - if ever there was a place for sexually abused men to deal with the persistant issues of CSA, then this is it. I hope that you'll stick around long enough to discover the support, compassion and understanding that the membership will offer you as you continue to confront and resolve the pain from your past.

Second, it is my personal position that the women in our lives, the ones we live in intimate relationships with, have a right to know about our past abuse by virtue of the fact that that abuse has far reaching impacts on our behaviour, our attititudes as well as our outlook on life in general.

Often times we come across as irrational in our comportment and many a woman has been left feeling confused and sometimes wondering if it isn't she who is at fault for the difficulties in the relationship. I've read that here many times.

When disclosing to your partner, it is not necessary or even advisable to go into great detail - you don't want her to have all of those pictures in her head about what was done to you and it helps her in no way whatever to have them either.

What was done to you as a child has greatly impacted you and will likely continue to do so for many years to come. Resolving childhood sexual abuse issues is a very long and complex process that puts us through all kinds of changes that a partner simply would not be able to understand the why of if she isnt apprised of your former abuse.

I you had an important medical condition that could potentially harm or deminish the relationship, would you keep that from her?

I believe that your partner has the right to know what she is signing up for and that honor requires of you to give her the opportunity to make an enlightened choice.

And then there is this; you fear that she may see you as damaged goods when in fact that is you projecting your own opinion of yourself on her. By not disclosing to her, you are robbing her of the opportunity to be supportive of you as you journey your way to wellness.

I would encourage you to also make your post in the Familly & Friends Forum so that you can get some feedback from the women on the site who live with male partners of sexual abuse. It could offer you a much fuller view of how and why you should disclose.

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#283048 - 04/10/09 03:27 AM Re: living a lie..... [Re: joelRT]
starman77 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 36
Loc: Illinois
Vernonq

I know where you are, been there.
I have been married of 26yrs. My wife had no idea. I told her about my about it in a session with my therapist. She is now my partner,she supports me in ways I never thought possible. After she found out we grew closer. She is also one of the people to whom I am accountable.

Starman


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#283146 - 04/10/09 07:17 PM Re: living a lie..... [Re: vernonq]
hill Offline
New Here

Registered: 05/09/07
Posts: 6
Hi--
I agree its important that our partners know generally what was done to us, since, in my experience, the abuse has impacted so many facets of my life.

And I fully agree to leave out the details; no sense re-traumatizing ourselves or giving life to those images.

At the same time I feel its important to think about, and maybe even write down and examine the motives for disclosure--taking a moment to breathe and recognize this important moment in the relationship--at this particular time in getting to know one another.

Here's why I say this: because there have been partners in the past Ive told because I thought I was damaged goods--rather than because of other reasons. In other instances I've shared this with a partner as a means of availing myself of love and acceptance.

Its a subtle distinction--but for me lasting; the abuse for me is here to stay. And when I shared the fact with a loved one, I'm rewriting, so I have wanted the significance of that moment to be on the + side of the balance, and not on the - side.

In this way, then that loved one becomes, for me, a signifier of healing truth and not confessing shame.
Not sure if this makes sense.

Tom


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