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How to approach your partner about their abuse as a child?

Both my partner and I have been open with one another about being victims of physical abuse as children. Very early on in our relationship I mentioned I was molested as well. My partner never mentioned anything like that happening to him so I never went into much detail about mine. Anyway in a fight recently he turned around and said I had no idea what he went through and there was stuff he never told me. It made my hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I have a feeling he may also have been abused sexually. Do I try and discuss this with him or leave it alone. It may explain his lack of interest in sex.

But I’m also concerned he maybe just being over dramatic as he can be sometimes.


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Answers (3)

I think you find a quiet time to sit down together and say "hey the other day you said I had no idea what stuff you've been through. What did you mean by that? Whats happened darling?"

I think it's odd that he mentioned it in a fight. What was the fight about? If it was like "you're a motherfucker, you never put your dishes in the fu****g sink * well f**k you you don't know what I've been through" than its a bit weird. But if it was like "I had the most fu***d up childhood * I bet mine was way worse * f**k you you don't know what I've been through" than yeah I can see why that would be the right time for him to mention it.
Honestly, whenever I have to probe some sensitive information out of someone, I like to get them outdoors first. Usually a nice walk somewhere secluded, and while we stroll I just ask them gently. For example, I was asked to find out something from my teenage sister in law, so while we were hanging out one day, we were walking through the chinese gardens in sydney. I just turned to her and said "hey ***** what ever happened with you and ****? You guys used to be so close. Is everything okay bub?" And she must have felt comfortable enough because she told me everything. My point is:

I think the best way to handle it is to simply let him know that you're there to listen if he feels like sharing. Something like "You said something the other day that has made me worried and I just want you to know that I'm ready to listen whenever you feel like sharing more about that. No pressure and completely in your own time. I just want you to know that I love you and support you always."
He may never bring it up again, especially if you guys have been together a really long time and if it is sexual abuse, he may have been burying it for so long that he doesn't ever want to dig it all up again. You have to be okay with not knowing if he chooses not to share anything more with you, because it's his cross to bare and how he deals with it is a choice only he can make. But let him know you're there for him. Good luck x

I don’t think there is an actual time where you both just sit down and discuss this sort of trauma. Triggers such as places, smells tastes or situations bring memories at the least expected time. You need to be prepared that when your partner’s behavior is off to stop, listen and be there to support them. Perhaps having an open conversation that when this happens you let each other know so you can work through it together.