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#453976 - 11/16/13 11:51 AM Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused?
Lovebug11768 Offline


Registered: 11/15/13
Posts: 3
My boyfriend has disclosed to me that an older boy started sexually abusing him when he was 4 years old. This continued for several years until my boyfriend was 13. The other boy was 6 years older than him and lived down the street. The thing that is confusing to me is that my boyfriend isn't upset about it. He doesn't even call it molestation or sexual abuse. He just calls it weird experimentation that boys do. I am confused because I don't know if he is really ok with this or if he is just in denial. I feel sorry for what happened to him but I don't want to express this to him since he may take it the wrong way. Am I being overly sensitive? What should I say or do?

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#453978 - 11/16/13 12:13 PM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 726
Loc: NJ
Hi Lovebug wink

First of all, congrats on being someone he trusts enough to talk to.

My husband's disclosure and process started much the same way. One of his abusers was an older boy, experimenting, didn't hurt him, etc etc etc

The thing that makes it abuse and not experimentation in my mind is the word OLDER. 6 years is a big difference when one is so young and unable to actively consent (and too young to understand the implications).

That being said, your boyfriend may be in a different mental space right now and my opinion is that you don't have to push him. I remember screaming inside "YOU WERE A CHILD!!!!!!!" and meanwhile, I remained silently confused. But I will say that in my husband's recovery process, he has realized a couple of important things about this.

I don't know how old your boyfriend is but my husband silently wrote off those events as experimentation, mostly to protect himself. He wondered if he was gay for most of his life and that wondering and the reality of the situation created an immense amount of shame that slowly ate away at his self esteem and quite frankly, his soul. Until he came undone (this is my interpretation wink )

When he was finally able to see those experiences for what they were, he was able to start unloading some of that shame that he had carried for years. He was able to see that he did not express choice - and although the experiences were not particularly violent or unpleasant at the time, they were experiences that he was not able to consent to - and that the older boy had exerted a power over him that was in essence the definition of the abuse.

Be honored that you are seen as trustworthy. Go gently. You are so smart to ask these questions.

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#454083 - 11/16/13 11:11 PM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
pittsburgh Offline


Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 89
Loc: west Chester, Pa
I agree with Esposa, It took me many decades to come to grips with the fact that I was a child,11, he was about forty. Back then you just did not talk about such things. When I finally took my wife. Things started to change. It took three years of working with a therapist, however I believe that one of the biggest factors was the patience and love that my wife gave me. When I was upset and venting she gave me space. She expressed understanding an patience and support at all times, Would discuss things when I was able to start to open up. I do not understand how she did it. Strangely from something so ugly a stronger relationship grew. I would suggest you read on here about the effects. Try to a therapist, both yourself and him. Also Mike Lew's " Victims no longer" gives great insights on male survivors. I wish you and you man the best in you journey.
_________________________
it is and has been quite a trip thru life, as last I feel that I am in a better place, it takes work and in my case a wife the was and is forgiveing and helpful. At last a relationship has gone right, messed up three.

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#454105 - 11/17/13 03:10 AM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
Lovebug11768 Offline


Registered: 11/15/13
Posts: 3
I should probably also add that there was another boy who was occasionally there. He knew the older boy and they were around the same age. I am furious because I feel like these 2 older boys ganged up on my boyfriend and took advantage of his innocence. Even though there was no violence (or so my boyfriend says), they still used him.

My boyfriend is now 33 years old BTW. I just can't believe that he is ok with this. I would never say anything to him about it but I am so angry and sad about what I feel was abuse.

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#454106 - 11/17/13 03:34 AM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
tbkkfile Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 283
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
Esposa explains it so much better than I, it tool me over 40 years to face up to what happened

Quote:
I don't know how old your boyfriend is but my husband silently wrote off those events as experimentation, mostly to protect himself. He wondered if he was gay for most of his life and that wondering and the reality of the situation created an immense amount of shame that slowly ate away at his self esteem and quite frankly, his soul. Until he came undone


I came undone at the beginning of this year
_________________________
To look up and not down,
To look forward and not back,
To look out and not in

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#454120 - 11/17/13 10:26 AM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 726
Loc: NJ
Lovebug - I don't know anything but I would argue that he is not probably ok with this - and that it is buried quite deeply in his subconscious. After all, we have to protect ourselves, don't we?

Perhaps if you did an inventory of behaviors, you might see ways that this effects him. For example, with my husband and 20/20 hindsight, he was a man who was easily angered, had no close friendships, drank too much, pushed people's limits, behaved inappropriately sometimes. He was also a very anxious person. Those were the attributes of someone who had something unresolved deep inside of him. He likens it always to burying a dead body. He just kept throwing dirt over it until one day it rose to the surface. And then we had a dead body to contend with - and there were days in his process that I am sure he just wanted to change houses rather than deal with it.

Pittsburg is right, reading books like Lew's, which take a gentle approach to reframing these events, is very useful. Also, knowing you are not alone and that you CAN feel better is important - and exactly what MS is for.

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#454124 - 11/17/13 11:13 AM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 734
Loc: NJ
Taking my toys, and heading home.


Edited by Castle (12/18/13 07:32 PM)
_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#454153 - 11/17/13 03:57 PM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 918
Loc: New York
10-year-olds are in fifth grade. 4-year-olds are still in nighttime diapers. And then it kept going as the older boy hit 17, 18, 19??? This was not "experimentation." Your boyfriend was molested. If the boyfriend doesn't consider it abusive then why did he bring it up in the first place? And does he seem to have problems with trust, touch, intimacy, or sexuality that could be related to this? Drinking or substance abuse?
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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#454178 - 11/17/13 07:52 PM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
George Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 122
Loc: NY metro
Yes it was abuse. He's not considering it abuse right now because he is still trying to cope, once that door is pushed open, there's gonna be a flood there. I didn't consider my abuse, abuse either for decades, I never forgot it, couldn't bury it, it was always there in my head. I heard about abuse once in a while, but still didn't want to connect with it.

It is amazing that he told you though, I had planned on taking it to my grave with out ever saying a word...Thank God I didn't, my grave would've come a lot sooner I'm sure if I didn't deal with it.

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#454193 - 11/18/13 12:19 AM Re: Confused - Was Boyfriend Abused? [Re: Lovebug11768]
Lovebug11768 Offline


Registered: 11/15/13
Posts: 3
Some of the personality characteristics you guys describe do pertain to him. He doesn't have any substance abuse problems (thank God). But he does have a very anxious, high strung personality. I would also say he has a lot of underlying anger. God help you if you cross him. When I say anger, I don't mean that he is violent, but he has a very sarcastic, biting tongue that comes out a lot. His words can cut through you like a knife. But I would say that his anger comes more from a place of defensiveness than actually trying to hurt anyone.

Problems with intimacy? Yes - he has at times suggested that we have an open relationship and have sex other people. He thinks it is modern and liberating. I have declined this lifestyle since polyamory is not my thing. I don't show it, but his suggestions of having sex outside our relationship hurts me terribly.

I really don't know how much of these characteristics are due to his abuse and how much is just his personality. Further, I really don't know how to proceed in helping him or if he even wants to be helped since he doesn't view this as a big deal. How can I express my sadness and anger over what happened to him without making him feel bad or shutting down? He has told other people BTW - I think they just took his lead and acted like it was no big deal even if they thought is was. I don't want to be like them but I also don't want to overreact and make him sorry he told me. This situation sucks.

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