Hi, I'm new to the forum. Been trying to find out as much info as possible to help my boyfriend/partner and give me ways to strengthen our relationship.
A little background. I'm late 40s, divorced 2yrs following a very long marriage. He's early 50s and is the most amazing man I have ever met.
I knew he was special from the moment we met at the start of the year - he is the most kind, strong, positive man and he has given me the strength to believe in myself. His strength of character shone from him. I knew he'd been hurt when his marriage ended. Felt there was more he didn't want to tell me. Something his mother said to me one day when we were alone clicked in my head. My closest female friend is a survivor of CSA (stepfather) so I'd picked up on a couple of things my partner had said and a few things that didn't sit right between us - he doesn't seem to want to kiss me very much (we do kiss passionately on ocassion but it's not a common occurance) and he prefers to kiss me on the cheek - I still never kiss him on the mouth unless he instigates it and I have to admit, it's difficult because I love him dearly and for me kissing is a very intimate thing and pulls me closer to him.
Last month he told me the basics of his past. I wasn't shocked. I was expecting it. Long term regular sexual abuse from a close male family member from age of 8 through to late teens. The abuser was his guardian in his parents regular long absences from the country.
I don't want to lose this precious man from my life. We had our first fight between us this week - not sure where it came from, no matter what I said it was wrong in his eyes, I felt he was - for the first time since I've known him - pulling me apart. I reminded him how much I love him and he told me that was a lie. That cut me to the core but I felt he was just lashing out at me. I know he has triggers but can't work out what they are yet.
He apologised to me about what had happened - I apologised to him too as maybe I should have just walked out and let things cool down when it became very upsetting. I just wanted to talk things through but I can see now that he wasn't in the right place to do that and if I'd just walked away without approaching it in the right way, he may have felt totally abandoned by me and I think that would have done even more damage.
I will read more on here - I would really be grateful for links to sites that may offer advice and ways of helping a loved one through this or some books that might help. Anything at all...I'd really appreciate it.
Thank you for reading.