Looking for Resources
Prior to getting engaged, my fiancé and I have been together for many years. Things all of sudden started to change between us and his behavior started changing towards me. He became more quiet, less affectionate and less romantic… I couldn’t understand why. I started feeling a disconnect and started falling out of love with him.
Thinking we knew everything about eachother, I recently found out about his childhood trauma. He had never told anyone that he had been sexually abused as a child for many years by different people, nor had he ever dealt with it. I can somewhat relate to his abuse — I was in a manipulative, abusive “relationship” when I was young, where I was forced to have sex when I didn’t want to. But it’s not the same situation.
I have been reading lots and watching videos about childhood sexual abuse and I know that for men it’s much harder to openly talk about this topic because of the stigma, embarrassment and toll it takes on their manhood.
I have suggested to him to see a therapist, but he is not open to the idea. I know that talking about it or having him express his emotions might help, but I try not to bring it up or probe because I don’t know if I’m making things worse or re-opening a wound.
I understand that this is about him and his healing journey, but this has negatively affected our relationship in every single aspect and has greatly affected me. I’m doing my best to support him, but at the same time it’s very hard when I myself feel drained. He has stopped doing all the thoughtful, important things in a relationship and deeply struggles with intimacy to the point where he just doesn’t want to have sex…
I have been desperately searching for resources in order to help me help him, but there isn’t much out there for the partners of sexual abuse victims. I understand that this journey is a joint effort and it would deeply help me to talk to other women who are trying to support their boyfriends or husbands with their childhood sexual abuse trauma. I would like to learn what I can do to help him, whether it be asking him the right questions, what to avoid, how to approach uncomfortable or painful conversations, etc.