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Telling new partner about rape - would you/have you?

(25 Posts)
interalia Mon 22-Apr-13 22:37:46

Not sure whether this is even an issue or not. There's no reason why I have to tell him. If I could guarantee a positive reaction then I would. I know for a fact that he would not be a dick about it and he would be lovely to me, but I'm worried that it would upset him to think about that having happened to me. The event wasn't traumatic to me, exactly - it was an ex who wouldn't take no for an answer while we were cuddled up in bed together. But I definitely said no and was eventually held down. It doesn't make sex difficult for me now (it was a couple of years ago) New P is totally different and very respectful. The only difference I can notice is that now I have a real phobia of the dentist (?) and I often cry throughout check-ups.

I would like to tell new P because I'd like him to know everything about me. But is there any point when there's no real need for me to and it could upset him? I'm worried it could change his perception of me and make him think of me as a victim, when I don't think of myself as a victim. I don't even know how I'd bring it up in conversation.

Firstly you are not a victim you are a survivor. I was also raped by an ex on a few occasions when I was younger. I didn't tell my new bf straight away as I didn't want him to see me as 'damaged'. It came out when we were play fighting and he held me down by my wrists and and panicked and cried a d was really shaken up. I had to tell him. He didn't judge me or make me feel wrong but I always thought how he saw me was altered. It probably weren't.

Its totally up to you. If you feel you wat to share it with him and you comfortable doing so then go ahead. It might make you feel better. There's no right or wrong answer.

Is there a reason why you want to tell him?

Januarymadness Mon 22-Apr-13 23:02:03

Someone who loves you for who you are will love all the bits that made you you. If being a SURVIVOR is part of you then he will accept it. If he doesn't he is not worth your worry.

That doesn't mean it wont upset him though.

It is your history to take control of. Tell or dont tell it is up to you. Do what makes YOU feel right.

LittleYellowBall Mon 22-Apr-13 23:11:19

Why do you want him to know everything about you?

interalia Mon 22-Apr-13 23:15:39

Is it not bad, though, to keep a significant part of your past a secret? I guess that is my question - do you think it would be OK for me to never tell him, even to marry him without telling him? Or would I be being deceptive?

SlumberingDormouse Mon 22-Apr-13 23:17:59

My new DP knows. In fact, he rescued me from the situation the night I was raped and that marked a new stage in our relationship. He obviously doesn't mind, though we don't talk about it much as I prefer not to remind myself of it. Someone who deserves you won't mind and will support you.

SlumberingDormouse Mon 22-Apr-13 23:19:41

I don't think it's wrong not to tell him everything, but I would question marrying someone if you can't tell him something so important. My DP knows everything about me, good and bad (more than even my mum), and it's a huge relief that he's ok with it and accepts me as I really am.

SlumberingDormouse Mon 22-Apr-13 23:21:16

Also, as for worrying about upsetting your DP - when I told a close (gay) friend, he was very upset and cried. This upset me too. But afterwards, he came to terms with it and we got closer.

SlumberingDormouse Mon 22-Apr-13 23:22:41

(Sorry for multiple posts - I've had a couple of glasses of wine and keep thinking of more things!)

Sparklyboots Mon 22-Apr-13 23:30:30

I used to tell. I thought it was significant to who I was? Now I don't think that so don't bother unless it comes up iyswim. Think DP knows, but not details, because I can't imagine ever going into details like I can't imagine going into details about awful at the time, but now meaningless arguments/ relationship moments. We are 5 yrs in and expecting our 2nd baby. It's not that I can't talk to him about it.

katykuns Mon 22-Apr-13 23:44:17

I told my DP, not really sure why I did. Felt I had to because I also wanted to tell him everything.
He had a slight flair of anger to my ex but it didn't change his feelings towards me.

katykuns Mon 22-Apr-13 23:46:10

(I was also raped by the Ex multiple times... apparently he didn't understand the word no)

I haven't told anyone else in RL and don't see it as important anymore. like ancient history smile

LittleYellowBall Mon 22-Apr-13 23:47:24

You say the event wasn't particularly traumatic to you though. So I don't think it comes across as a significant part of your past.

Lucylloyd13 Tue 23-Apr-13 09:55:10

It depends what message you want to send to him.

Telling him that an ex forced you to have sex against your will allows him an insight into youe psyche, no real problem.

My DH knows. I kind of wish I never told him.

I kept it a secret for about 5 years, and then was awarded a considerable compensation sum. I couldn't keep it secret, so I told him.

I still feel responsible for what happened to me, I can't get out of that mindset. Probably because as good as the police were, no one, not even the counsellor I saw, ever just said to me that he just shouldn't have raped me. Even my friends judged, and I felt like a slut for it. I went home with a man I didn't know for NSA sex, changed my mind after he wanted to go back to his instead of stay in a hotel, and he raped me in his car in an alley.

I made some poor choices that night, but NONE excuse him raping me.

akaWisey Tue 23-Apr-13 18:46:10

Depends how long you've known him and why you want him to know.

FWIW I didn't/don't tell partners, even those whom I could trust, everything about my history.

I told DP. It was a situation similar to SPs. He was and is very supportive. He says he feels frustrated that nobody helped me at the time and sad that it happened but he does not see me as weak or pitiful in anyway. He understands some tv or films can be triggering so checks I'm ok if we watch something that might distress me.

I was not raped, but I was assaulted - he was interrupted. I'm not sure what would have happened otherwise to be honest.

Anyway, I have not told my DH, our relationship is brilliant and we've been together 7yrs. He knows I feel strongly about rape/assault, and we are both very careful about consent because we are decent people and that's enough for me. I don't feel like I have to tell him.

interalia Tue 23-Apr-13 20:37:42

I can't articulate why I want to tell him. But tbh I don't think I could bear him being upset. I was just worried that if I kept something like that a secret, it might somehow come to drive a wedge between us. I don't know why I thought that. It's reassuring to know that some people have not told and that it's OK. Thanks.

LittleYellowBall Tue 23-Apr-13 21:33:14

I think if it's something that's causing you mental trauma then it's only fair to tell him, as otherwise he won't know what he's dealing with. However if it isn't, then there's no need to tell him this anymore than you would tell him about every other unpleasant thing that's ever happened to you.

butterflymeadow Tue 23-Apr-13 22:17:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hairtearing Tue 23-Apr-13 22:35:23

I think if you are comfortable go for it, It might help him be more considerate re:triggers in the future.
but I think be aware that when you have transferred that kind of heavy stuff on to someone else it can affect them negatively.

Its not the same thing, but a relative of mine would IMO overshare telling me about traumatic things like rape,sexual assault , It did affect me in a bad way,I felt like it was a selfish act designed to unburden themselves and pass the shit onto me who had my own stuff to deal with and felt uncomfortable having that level of knowledge about someone.
So in summary tell him but for the right reasons.

interalia Tue 23-Apr-13 22:46:36

Thanks. It does affect me but not disastrously - I don't have any resulting mental health problems, and if I get upset about anything he is good at comforting me without demanding to know why I am upset. I just get bad dreams and upset if I watch anything on telly that is triggering.

I think on balance I won't tell him unless I feel I really, really need to.

jessjessjess Wed 24-Apr-13 06:46:59

I think it's completely up to you. I've been with DH for five years and wasn't planning on telling him about stuff that happened with my ex until we got into a random conversation about forgiveness one day and DH said: "Well, if you were raped or murdered I wouldn't be able to forgive the person." And I took a deep breath and told him that it wasn't his decision to forgive my ex or not.

I haven't told him the details. But I also don't seem to get triggered as I'm rather detached from it all. I'm in therapy, which is helping.

Jackie: he shouldn't have raped you. That goes for everyone who has been a victim of this crime.

tangerinefeathers Wed 24-Apr-13 10:55:26

There's a lot I haven't told my DH about ex-partners. Partly I think he doesn't want to know, it would disturb him, and partly because it's the past, it doesn't affect me now apart from making me glad I am no longer in those situations, and maybe also I feel like I'm happy now and don't want to drag all that old stuff into my life now, if that makes sense.

I personally don't think you 'have' to tell your partner everything. Some things are private and your own business and there's nothing wrong with keeping them to yourself if you don't have the urge to share them.

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