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#398491 - 05/27/12 11:17 AM Do you want to know if you have the choice?
Thomas1701 Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 14
Hi,

I donīt even know how to start this but Iīm a survivor and I have a girlfriend, the thing is she doesnīt know yet. I donīt think she noticed that there may be something wrong with me but for some time I had this feeling that she deserves to know and I mean I trust her but donīt wanna hurt her. My previous girlfriendīs reaction was pretty bad and I only told her a little bit. She broke up with me because as she said if I told her sooner she wouldnīt be with me. Now I know it was a good thing at the end. The girlfriend I have now is a sweetheart and know she wouldnīt do that but I donīt want to break her heart. Iīve never told the whole story to anybody, tried to write it down here but I posted only a very short and the easiest part. Now for the first time I feel like I can get it out but isnīt it selfish? Hurt her feelings to make me feel better?
The question is if you had the choice before you partner disclosed would you want to know or would it be better if he never told? Iīm asking about your feelings now without caring about his ...

Any response would be helpful
Thank you smile

Thomas

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#398505 - 05/27/12 03:17 PM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
Julia Offline


Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 59
Hi Thomas,

My exboyfriend had told me very early on in our relationship. He told me that he'd been molested by his uncle when he was little and that he had a hard time in relationships because of it. I let him tell me only what he wanted, I didn't ask him anything about it because I didn't see any issues at that point in our relationship. He was not in therapy at the time. I doubt he could have been able to tell me what his issues were if I would have asked him at that point.

As we got closer, our relationship got more difficult. He stated to remember more and his issues went into full swing. I don't think either one of us knew what him being a survivor meant. You are being extremely responsible in wanting to talk to your girlfriend. I don't think you have to tell her everything. If you want to, you can ask her if she wants to hear. You could point her in this direction (malesurvivor.org)or get her a book.

Looking back, I can see how much courage it took for my boyfriend to tell me the things he did. I always let him share only what he wanted to. And because he had an awful time trusting, I always considered him trusting me as a precious gift. I knew he wouldn't have done that for just anyone.

Good Luck!
Love,
Julia

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#398536 - 05/27/12 06:57 PM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
I don't think it's selfish to share important things about ourselves with our significant other.
I don't see how telling her would hurt her. ?? You're sharing yourself, and that trust and honesty is a gift.

Personally I want to know anything important about my partner. Major events that impacted him fall into that category. So I can know and understand him better as a human being, that's the foundation of intimacy. And so I could support him if he needed it.

At the same time, if he chose not to tell, I would understand that also. It would be his to tell or not. If he weren't ready to share I would respect that.

I'm appalled by your former gf's reaction. All I can say is it was her loss. And I'm glad you found out her true character when you did, so you didn't waste further time with her.

If your current gf is worth being with, she will want to know this about you.

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#398559 - 05/27/12 11:05 PM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
Cooper Offline


Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 3
As the wife of a survivor, I can honestly say I wish I knew from day one. Not that it would change my decision to be with my husband. I love him very much...but we are now suffering in a failed marriage (he left our family recently) because he feels we are without love. Had I known about his abuse from the start, I would have reacted much differently to many situations we have encountered. Where I thought he was being cruel, selfish, or withdrawn, I would have realized he was battling a demon I never knew existed...and therefore my reactions would have been different as well.

I love my husband more than anyone in this world. And I will do anything to support him...even as we live apart. But knowing the full story earlier in our marriage could have changed our current course. If she loves you completely, as I love him, she will be there to support you in your relationship. If she decides she cannot handle the truth of what you've endured, both of you are better off in the long run. Relationships built on half-truths rarely survive.

I wish you all the strength and support you need to get through this decision.

Cooper
_________________________
Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

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#398560 - 05/27/12 11:51 PM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
Pie Offline


Registered: 05/27/11
Posts: 61
Hi Thomas

I am a survivors wife and I agree with Cooper completely.

In a relationship you need honesty and respect, if these two fundimental aspects do not form your foundation, the relationship cannot thrive. As it is your choice to share or not, it will eventually be her choice to trust and support or not.

Had I have known the extent of the abuse I would have to endure I would not have married my husband, I know this sounds harsh, but myself and the children have been put through a huge amount of pain.

Having said that I need to add that if he had have disclosed his past to me while dating I would have educated myself and seeked help immediatly. This I feel would have spared us all years of acting out, abuse, anger, tears and even resentment.

We are much stronger now and enjoying the fruits of his healing. Why not start your lives together with the truth. You are in a much stronger place than most survivors struggling alone. You have already started your healing process and can guide her and help her to understand the plight of abused men. If she is right for you then traveling the road of learning and teaching together will be the greatest reward. Disclosing later in the relationship will fill her mind with betrayal (in my case it did).

May your heart be filled with peace as you make your decission.
Pie

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#398587 - 05/28/12 10:21 AM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
Thomas1701 Offline


Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 14
Thanks for all the replies I truly appreciate it.
I think I take a few days to find the right words and prepare myself. I know I should tell her and she would find out some day anyway, when Iīll be tired of fake smiles and happy thoughts. On the other side I think itīs fair to give her the chance to decide whether she wants to stay with me even if it would not be easy or not. When I see how difficult it is and the impact it has on your relationships maybe I should first let her know how hard it will be. Iīm sorry for your difficulties in partnerships.

Thank you again!
Thomas

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#398590 - 05/28/12 11:30 AM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 678
Loc: NJ
I would like to say that if I had known, I would not have married my husband. But the truth is, the abuse is NOT what would have stopped me. What would have stopped me was the way the abuse and experiences shaped his responses, his thought processes, etc. I did not marry a whole person. The pain of being in a relationship with a survivor who is not in recovery is HORRENDOUS.

That said, you seem to be taking the first step in realizing that your abuse has changed you and you want to present this information to her. It's not just your experiences you need to share, it is your plan for working through those experiences and your desire to do that for you, for her, with her.

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#398593 - 05/28/12 12:14 PM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 414
Yes! I would want a choice. I'm not sure how I would have chosen. If I knew even a little about what the potential issues could be, I would have delayed childbearing so that he could concentrate on healing. If he wouldn't seek healing, I'd run as fast as my fat little legs could carry me. I'm pretty sure my husband does not realize how very empathetic I am to his struggle. I truly am BUT, we have 3 (little) kids. Had he let me in in his dark secret earlier (I found out when our youngest was almost a year old), I would have done things in a way that would have been easier for him to concentrate on him. Give her the choice. If she bolts--good riddance to her.
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#398779 - 05/30/12 05:22 AM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3601
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Thomas,
I'm also survivor and have always looked for girlfriend to whom I could disclose. Unfortunately my last girlfriend hasn't been supportive in some rather regular stuff so I wasn't at all comfortable to share with her some let say "problematic" parts of my history. That fact made our communication sometimes impossible and really killed our relationship.
I can't see purpose of some relationship beside sharing intimacy (including some bad stuff) and giving support to each other. It is not that we need to feel better so we should share our stories. I guess that partner could be more hurt by unexpectedly unfolding some secrets and terrible facts from past. I would be very disappointed if I would also unexpectedly find after some years of mutual life that my wife/girlfriend have had some terrible problems in past or present and was secretive and not comfortable to share it with me.
That doesn't mean that we have to share every possible detail of our stories but some at least.
Sharing some intimate details makes deeper connection - at least I see it like that.
Be well!
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#398913 - 05/30/12 09:29 PM Re: Do you want to know if you have the choice? [Re: Thomas1701]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
I donīt think she noticed that there may be something wrong with me but for some time I had this feeling that she deserves to know and I mean I trust her but donīt wanna hurt her.


I'm concerned by this statement, Thomas. I may be wrong, but it indicates you've maybe not gotten trauma/abuse counseling. If "something's wrong" with you, you must, please, take responsibility for caring for yourself. Your GF couldn't possibly be "hurt" by abuse YOU suffered, but she could absolutely be hurt by the fall-out that could be rained down on her from unattended trauma. You are setting up yourself and all of your relationships for failure if your plan is only to disclose. You should be able to offer the story of how you've dealt with your trauma/how you've healed and grown stronger, or how you plan to IMMEDIATELY deal with any possible fall-out, with an invitation for her to join you in the journey so she can not only support you, but can learn about your trauma, too.

Quote:
...but isnīt it selfish? Hurt her feelings to make me feel better?


It is never, ever selfish to give someone the open and honest truth. If you care enough about this girl that you want to have a longterm, intimate relationship, then there is no more loving -and brave- thing to do than to give her your truth. Wouldn't you want the same from her? Telling the truth, letting one you love see your heart and soul DOES feel good, but it is most certainly not selfish!!! It is mature and responsible and brave! What a gift!

Quote:
The question is if you had the choice before you partner disclosed would you want to know or would it be better if he never told? Iīm asking about your feelings now without caring about his ...


I would give YEARS off of my life for my husband to have told me what he endured. It wouldn't have made a difference to me, other than to respect him for his honesty, his resilience, his courage, his character. To know I was so loved and trusted that he would tell me something so hard for him to articulate would have been placing a crown of jewels on our marriage. I'm sure that knowing of that traumatic past would have helped me figure out puzzling things throughout our marriage. I could have intervened and saved us the sheer torture that we've endured in his acting out/acting in (affair, prostitutes, alcohol abuse, etc.).

Blessings on You!!!
herowannabe
_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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